LOL I have more to say. More spoilers ahead.
After seeing the movie i couldn’t help but reflect long afterwards on the immense suffering that the main character Perez is forced to endure. The physical deprivation associated with fighting as a war-time guerilla fugitive would be hard enough but also consider the amount of emotional stress that he must be under. His two most trusted comrades betray him from the outset and he literally loses everything bar his life by the end of the story. Its remarkable when you think about it. In what other film or narrative does the main protaganist suffer so much for literally no payoff at the end. He gets beaten further and further down and by the end of the story he achieves nothing. Can you see where I’m going with this? Perez’s story represents Jesus life on the earthly plain.
It goes without saying that Christian themes are prominent in this movie. The Madonna-esque female is extremely devout and the characters on a couple of occasions visit places of worship (monastery ruins and an actual church ceremony for fallen soldiers).
Jesus suffering is also a well established ethos of the New Testament. Consider who Perez is suffering for. Chamaco constantly derides Perez for foolishly failing to act in his own self-interest. But Perez is not an anti-hero his cause is the greater good. He is willing to sacrifice everything (his own life, his family friends) for the betterment of the people. What is truly tragic is that the very people he is striving to protect are willing to brutally murder him (villagers with machetes) for a few pieces of silver. Jesus dedicated his life to others and was similarly betrayed by peoples who formerly welcomed him as a saviour.
And consider Perez incredible capacity for forgiveness. We only ever see him resorting to violence in self defence. The audience knows that Perez knows from day one that Chamaco hates the plan and could kill him at any moment. He has to sleep with one eye open. HE KNOWS but he never acts on it, he gives Chamaco the chance to redeem himself. Chicho also gets caught in a lie which Perez lets slide and when he betrays them by stealing Ralli away he forgives him. When Perez confronts him about the lie he lies again. I wonder if he lies three times like Peter did to Jesus.
But notwithstanding all of the above I still wasn’t sure if i was stretching the comparison a bit too far. But then something clinched it for me. On the beach towards the end they come across a soldier who has been strung up in crucifixion pose. On the beach Ralli and Perez just before they find out the resistance cause is lost lie spreadeagled on the sand again in a pose reminiscent of Christ. For me this imagery speaks to the fundamental message of this movie.