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NETFLIX RELEASED A NEW ORIGINAL SERIES THIS MONTH CALLED MESSIAH IT’S RECEIVED A SHOCKING 36% CRITICS RATING ON ROTTEN TOMATOES BUT IS IT REALLY THAT BAD?

! WARNING – SPOILERS !
Spoilers are automatically hidden in the article, click to reveal.

Netflix has been pumping out some amazing original’s lately and they show no signs of slowing down with the release of a new original series, which was launched on January 1st 2020, called Messiah.

The series is an American thriller and was created by Australian film writer and director Michael Petroni. The 10 part series focuses on the modern world’s reaction to a man, who first appears in the Middle East claiming to be the eschatological return of Isa (Al-Masih) aka Jesus played by Mehdi Dehbi. His sudden appearance and his ‘miracles’ which are witnessed by many, spark a viral and international following.

This viral following, catches the attention of CIA officer Eva Geller, played by Michelle Monaghan, who sets about an investigation into the Al-Masih to discover whether he is in fact the second coming of Christ or whether he is a conman who is fooling his followers. Eva is concerned that the Al-Masih’s (Messiah) following, could lead to political unrest and instability in the middle east, causing further conflict between Israel and Palestine.

While the series has a rather slow pace, each episode is filled with twists and turns that keep the viewer hooked and wondering whether the Messiah is indeed the second coming or Christ or whether he’s an articulate and calculated conman trying to bring about political change.

The show does a fantastic job of dealing with the religious topic of the return of Christ, looking at the topic from both the Islamic and Christian perspective. It deals with challenging and interesting topics such as, what would the modern world do if Jesus were to return? Would we instantly believe in such a person? How would we deal with the doubt over such a person and what would someone, who claims to be the second coming of Christ, what impact would that person have on society and the modern world as a whole?

The series will be of interest to anyone who’s interested in geopolitics and religion. Before the series even aired controversy was caused when Netflix dropped the trailer for the series in December 2019. The trailer angered many Muslims from around the world, in fact, the film was withdrawn and banned from streaming sites in Jordan due to the provocative subject matters covered in the series.

I thoroughly enjoyed the series as it kept me guessing right up until the end whether the Messiah was indeed legitimate or a conman, the thriller had me switching from opinion to opinion, time and time again. One moment I was convinced he was indeed the Messiah and the next I was convinced he was a conman, only to go right back around in circles again.

The ending leaves you on this cliff-hanger and while the ending leaves you convinced that the Messiah at least has some forms of supernatural powers and may be legitimate, there were enough twists in the series to make you doubt and keep you guessing.

Netflix Messiah - Ending Photograph

! WARNING SPOILERS AHEAD - CLICK TO REVEAL !

My theory is that the Messiah (Payam) is actually the anti-Christ, it would appear that al-Masih (as his followers call him) does indeed have some form of supernatural powers, how did he get from the Middle East to American in such a short space of time, what about the plane crash and the resurrection at the end?

We’ve seen that Jibril Medina, played by Sayyid El Elami, survived a terrorist bomb blast, when his friend Samir walked into a Mosque he was speaking at, with a suicide vest strapped to his chest. When the bomb was remotely detonated as Samir dropped the trigger, the blast was shown to have killed dozens that gathered at the mosque to here Jibirl talk. The bomb blast that should have killed him didn’t, we see Jibril on the back of a truck surrounded by dead bodies, we see that he touches Q – a CIA Agent who appeared to be killed in the blast and upon touching Q he appears to be revived.

Could this mean that Jibril is the actual Messiah and that Al-Masih is in fact the anti-Christ and is a deceiver, could this be Messiah’s biggest plot twist? Could their be a showdown between Jibril the real Messiah and Al-Masih (Payam) the anti-christ? Who knows we will have to wait until season 2 to find out, this is just my own personal theory on how things may play-out.

At the end of the day, Messiah will not be for everybody, Rotten Tomatoes critics rated it a shocking 36% and only 2 stars out of five! I fear this rating could come from the fact that a lot of religious folk have been overly critical of the film and because of their religious beliefs have found the film either offensive, challenging of their beliefs or a misrepresentation of their beliefs.

When we look at the overall audience score on Rotten Tomatoes the series has actually achieved an impressive 91% approval rating, this goes to show that given the chance, Messiah is not all that bad. If you can put personal beliefs to one side, you may be impressed with the series and storyline.

Due to the critic ratings and the negative reception from the religious community, there is no guarantee we will see a Season 2 of Messiah and viewers may be left guessing whether or not Al-Masih was the real Messiah and if left here, it may boil down to our own personal interpretation of the story and everything that happened. Hopefully though, Netflix will bless us with a Season 2.

Overall, I’d recommend giving Messiah a try, especially if you’re heavily into your thrillers and dramas that deal with geopolitics and the current political climate in the Middle East. Messiah gives the lead character enough skeletons in his closet to keep you guessing whether he is the real deal, all the other characters have their own interesting storylines that pan out well over the course of the series.

Messiah’s strengths lies in how the modern world and society might react to the second coming of Christ, it takes a look how we all may be easily duped into an elaborate hoax on a global scale. If you can deal with its somewhat slow pace in parts, I think you’ll be in for a treat.

Don’t miss out on one of Netflix’s most talked about shows of this year, add it to your watch list, give it a try and leave us a comment below letting us know what you think of this controversial, new, Netflix original.

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