Jesus Christ has been the subject of so many motion pictures throughout the decades and each one with their unique sets of controversial discussion. Three Christs, based on the book “The Three Christs of Ypsilanti “ by Milton Rokeach follows Dr. Alan Stone (Richard Gere), a psychologist who arrives at a Michigan State mental hospital and wants to heal three patients who believe they are Jesus Christ through compassion therapy, as opposed to electric shocks treatments by putting them together observing the outcome of their interactions will certainly add to the controversy amongst the medical community.
It’s a fascinating story to say the least with a rock star cast Peter Dinklage (Joseph), Walter Goggins (Leon), Bradley Whitford (Clyde), Charlotte Hope (Becky), Julianne Marguilles (Ruth), Kevin Pollak (Dr. Obus), Steven Root (Dr. Rogers), James Monroe Inglehart (Benny), Jane Alexander (Dr. Abraham) and Richard Gere as Dr. Alan Stone.
Each patient and administrator has their own set of issues. Joseph struggles with being taunted for being different. Leon struggles with being a vet whose undercover sexual desires, mentally ill mother make him menacing. Clyde struggles with the unexpected loss of his wife and child. Becky desperately seeks to understand the depths of mental illness. Ruth struggles with attempting to be the supportive wife who was once the young, impressionable assistant. Dr. Obus can’t relinquish control and needs the spotlight. Dr.’s Abraham and Rogers struggle with supporting their colleague and friend while adhering to the state facility rules. There are lot of conflicts, storylines where some have resolutions and others do not.
Three Christs illustrates a certain amount of humanity should be instituted when caring for the mentally ill. Not everyone that is challenged is completely unhinged for no reason and those who have taken on the task of finding alternative treatment should be supported and not met with such adverse non-support. It’s a story of power struggle vs humanity and the score infused ever sol slightly with opera adds the element of tragedy that ultimately unveils in the final chapter.
Richard Gere’s performance is a compilation of his many years in cinema giving a well-rounded nuanced performance making Dr. Stone compassionate – not crazed. Having originally premiered at The Toronto Film Festival in 2017, IFC Films finally released this film on January 10th and is well worth the ride.