Bytes to Binge:
No. of Episodes: 10
Duration: 50 minutes each
Cast: Mehdi Dehbi and Tom Sisley
Messiah is based on fictional characters and holds no resemblance to true events. It is a thriller centered around the character of Al-Masih: A man who is believed to elevate Damascus from dust and rubble and lead people to a better life. Yet, he appears to remain unaware of his strengths and potential. The plot thickens with the introduction of an Israeli secret police officer alongside an American CIA officer as their intrigue rises in him who are equally intrigued by the Messiah. Who is he? He asks us, “Is your world good?”
The episode crawls with a slow start but teases you to believe in the Messiah. The first few minutes of the episode capture a tone of human injustice and rings especially true as it reflects current times. If you are after an hour of escapism perhaps, this show can be put on the back burner for another time. However, if you are after a thrilling watch that depicts real-life issues and tries to question not only current affairs set in Middle-eastern countries and America but also questions your own moral being, then it is worth a watch!
The focal Character grips you. Not only does he visually bears resemblance to the characteristics of Jesus Christ but his sheer composure and determination to lead his followers to make you wonder if he is Christ? Has Al-Masih returned on earth to liberate these people from their suffering? My God is the back. No pun intended.
A few storylines run parallel to each other in the very first episode but the character of a young boy, Jabril strikes a chord with me. Caught in the nasty web war in Syria and Israel, Jabril has lost his father and now his mother. An excerpt between Jabril and Al-Masih where the poor child attempts to seek answers and make sense of the ensuing turmoil around him pulls at my heartstrings. It goes as follows:
He questions Al-Masih “Imam, is my mother in a good place?”
“She is where God wants her” replies Al-Masih.
“Is she with him?”
The plight in Jabril’s voice illustrates how desperately he wanted some sort of guarantee that his mother was actually with God. The very thought, giving him some respite.
“Do you think he would forsake a soul as good as hers?”
His meaning? Maybe she was needed and has done a great thing, that this young boy should look beyond his needs and be the small sum of the whole picture to liberation. Do we need the saviour returned to save us again?
The CIA officer offers a sneak-peak into the other side of the mystery man. But here is the catch, she is just as mysterious!
The directors have excelled in weaving together the various parallel stories in a string of ten episodes. But, I wish the plot was more condensed without gaps where the audience may space out.
Messiah will be debatable, talked about and some may be inclined to have strong views about the narrative. I believe that this will open up conversations and in my perspective, it brings hope to the forefront.