Atheen M. Wilson | Mpls, MN United States | 04/18/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Years ago after my first visit to Egypt, the University of Minnesota sponsored a film festival of Egyptian made films and this was one among them. Although it features film stars with whom many of us will already be familiar, Irene Pappas, Anthony Quinn and Michael Ansara, it was directed by a Moslem director, Moustapha Akkad, and has the stamp of approval of the Al Azhar Mosque and University (the oldest University in the world and an institution much respected in the Islamic world for its Koran scholarship). While it carries a religious message for Islamic people--in fact I saw parts of it again on Saudi TV as part of the Ramadan season's celebration while I was working in Tabouk--it also explains in a sympathetic way for Western viewers many of the basic tenets of Islam. It is as moving a story in its own way as the stories of the New Testament are for Christians, and it portrays the essence of what Moslems believe about Mohamed and their faith. The simplicity and straight forwardness of the tale as it portrays the sacrifices of plain people for their convictions and the ultimate triumph of good over evil will appeal to anyone with a sense of fair mindedness regardless of ones religious convictions. The light in which it places Christians cannot fail to impress. Mohamed's more vulnerable followers are told to seek asylum with the King of Abyssinia (modern day Ethiopia), because as a Christian king he was their "brother" and bound by the "book" to protect them from their oppressors, which indeed he does! Nor are the Jews spoken ill of in the tale. The actual cinematography is a little dated, and the story can be a little postured, but no more than any other film of the 1960-1970s. How many can sit through a John Wayne western without a little smile, whether of nostalgia or of amusement, and yet the color, pageantry and triumph of the good guys in the face of blatant evil is still a treat. The film is a beautiful work, and the story is moving, informative and well worth viewing. Glad I finally found it on DVD."
"I am not a Muslim, however, this movie presents a very historical and true picture of the struggles of Islam and the development of this religion. This is a movie you will enjoy watching regardless of your religious preference. I found myself having a much greater understanding of Muslims and a very deep respect for their faith after viewing this film. I highly recommend it for anyone and all ages. I am very surprised this movie was not a box office smash. One of the best I have ever seen......it answers a lot of questions and presents some great opportunities for interfaith understanding. As an American this film was a special "eye opener" for me."
Great film for teaching about Islam.
M. Higgins | DEAVER, WY USA | 01/11/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am not a Moslem so I can not speak about the authenticity or faithfulness of this film. My understanding is that Moslems like it. It looks like the reviews do that. I am a middle school teacher and I use this movie to teach my students about Islam. It is very popular with them. I find it interesting that the kids are cheering for Mohammad and his followers by the end of the film. Thinking of Moslems as "the good guys" is something our media and culture has not traditionally done, so I really appreciate the ways this film challenges societal predjudices.
I think an honest review would admit that the acting is somewhat cheesy in spots. It also raises some questions that a non-Moslem might not know answers to. For instance, why isn't Ali shown? In a teaching situation, though, that is good. You have the kids do some research and try to find answers. All and all I would highly recommend this film to any teachers out there who are looking for an highly engaging way to introduce their students to Islam."
Great opportunities for interfaith understanding.
M. Higgins | 07/20/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"One of the finest movies on Islam ever made. It is a movie made for those looking for an objective portrayal of the worlds fastest growing faith, Islam. The movie should help dispel and refute the lies and fraud that the popular news media portrays on Islam.... It is truly a great movie. Being a Moslem by birth, I am happy to see a very historical, true and accurate picture of the struggles of Islam and the development of this religion. This is a movie I enjoyed watching and I think that anyone would enjoy watching regardless of his or her religious preference. I found myself having a much greater understanding of my own heritage and a very deep respect for Christianity and Jewish faiths after watching this movie. The fact that Islam, Christianity and Judaism were good friends of one another during the time of our prophet is greatly overlooked by all the three religions. I think that it is a pity that the three religions that share so much in common, worship the same God, spent so much time fighting one another. I highly recommend it for anyone and all ages. I am very surprised this movie was not a box office smash. Again, it is one of the best I have ever seen...it answers a lot of questions and presents some great opportunities for interfaith understanding."
"God sent Muhammad as a mercy to mankind."
Ayman Taleb | Denton, TX USA | 11/02/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
""The Message" tells the story of the birth of Islam, from the Prophet Muhammad's first revelation from God to his death. The film follows the Prophet's story (though never showing the Prophet himself, as Islamic tradition ordains) as he starts with a handful of believers, and over the coarse of 23 years, establishes a mighty force that shook the world. The story is most excellent. The script was well written and approved for its accuracy in telling the story of the Prophet. The actors are wonderful in portraying the people who were in involved the Prophet's life. Anthony Quinn is simply magnificent as Hamza, the Prophet's uncle. The cinematography of the film is breathtaking. The Oscar-nominated music for the film by Maurice Jarre is phenomenal. The director, Moustapha Akkad, could not have done a better job. This film is without a doubt a perfect 10.
Now, about the special features: The film comes in two discs, the first is the English version of the film and the second is the Arabic version of the film. The two versions of the film were shot together by two separate casts. Akkad originally made the film so he would have an instrument to teach his children the history of their faith, as well as the general public at large. And since he had established his life in California, he initially wanted to make the film in English. He then realized he wanted to pay homage to the religion by presenting it in the language that the events happened in, so he made a valiant effort to bring together actors from the Arab world to play the parts in the film. The film is handsomely presented in anamorphic widescreen. The sound is presented in its original Stereo 2.0 surround sound mix. Both the video and audio have been remastered for this release. The DVD also includes an enlightening commentary track by Producer/Director Moustapha Akkad on both versions of the film (English commentary for the English version of the film and Arabic commentary for the Arabic version of the film). Also, there is a Making of an Epic: Mohammad - Messenger of God (the working title for the film) that runs for approximately 44 minutes.
I highly recommend this movie for anyone who wants to learn about the history of Islam, the Prophet Muhammad, or just wants to watch a great epic movie."