RELIGULOUS: BLASPHEMY AT ITS FUNNIEST
Bill Maher is on a mission. With his film Religulous, he wants proof of religion and not just that he has to have faith. With a thought provoking film, his film is reminiscent of Borat and any Michael Moore film. In other words, he manages to find humor but also makes his audience question their own beliefs.
Bill Maher has questioned religion his whole life. His father was Catholic and his mom was Jewish. He was raised Catholic until he was 13. Until one day they just stopped going to church. So he sets out on a journey to explore any and all religions and their beliefs. Along the way he doesn't get the answers he is looking for but only solidifies his belief that “Not having faith is a luxury.”
Bill Maher has always elicited responses with his views. But with Religulous he takes it one step further and puts himself in the same realm of documentary makers such as Michael Moore. He has one view and that is religion is all nonsense. Even though he travels all over the world and talks to many different people in many different religions, his mind is unchanged. His main goal is to get his audience to question their views. But yet he infuses humor into the subject matter by making many of the people he talks to look ridiculous (hence the title of the movie). This can be taken offensively or as funny. But he does his research. He speaks to men at the Vatican (in front of, as he gets thrown out), ex-Mormons, Christians, “reformed” homosexual men who have found God, and even a man who plays Jesus at an amusement park in Orlando, Florida that is called The Holy Land. The scenes at this park are by far the most disturbing. An example is a man playing Jesus on the cross who is being led by the Romans throughout the park. He is bloodied and battered. All the while visitors to the park are videotaping and taking pictures of the spectacle. I
Even though the humor does add to the film, there are moments where it is taken to a point where it becomes unnecessary. Bill seems to want to put his message out there but he sometimes gets caught up with just trying to be too funny.
Religulous is an entertaining and informative film. Bill Maher did his homework and does not just target one school of thought. He shows the many similarities between religions and that it is okay to question them, even if the church doesn't like it. He does get carried away on more than one occasion but the idea is to be taken at face value or not. He leaves it up to his audience.