Risen - 2016 - A Movie Review
I began to see the previews for Risen, a few months before it came out in theaters, probably like many other people. I recall that Risen looked rather interesting, and thought, "Oh, another Jesus movie." I do not mean that in a negative way. The one time I saw the preview, one of my sons was with me, and he said, "I wonder if they added in something weird, like sometimes happens." When I asked him, he said he meant like that Jesus or a disciple having some strange relationship with someone, etc. I knew what he meant. Taking some literary license is one thing, but sometimes its over the top, or according to some other gospel, etc. Turns out, that was pretty much an unwarranted thought.
My Take on the Movie Risen
One of the first things that jumped out to me about this movie is that the point of view is so utterly unique. The point of view is from Clavius, played by Joseph Fiennes. Pilate, was played by Peter Firth. There was another Roman soldier that was coming up in the ranks, named Lucius, and his character was played by Tom Felton. As I continue on here, I want to point out that some of this review may be a bit of a spoiler for those that have not seen it yet. So please keep that in mind as you read on.
The point of view coming from Clavius, Pilate and Lucius is one of distress at how the events are playing out. Even knowing the basic plot line going in, it was quite incredible the first time you realized that Jesus, or Yeshua was on the cross and dying, since there no scene that showed that yet. You first got wind of it when there was an earthquake, as told in the gospel story, and Clavius was given the unfortunate task of breaking the legs of the criminals on the cross. Then, the rest of the story plays out. It was very interesting to me, as someone that has seen a lot of movies similar to this and that knows and respects the biblical accounts of the life of Jesus as read in the gospels Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
Joseph Fiennes is an incredible actor in my opinion, and perfect for this role. His acting is so spot on and yet seems so effortless, which I remember from other movies I have seen him in, including Elizabeth. Risen, is made from the point of view from anyone but the family, or disciples, or Jesus himself. So its a fascinating movie to see. I truly enjoyed watching the scenes play out.
It goes on somewhat like an investigation, which it surely must have been, back in the day. Ideas are brought out on the screen that one may not have even considered or thought through fully. I mean like the absolute fear of the disciples to the degree of needing to be in hiding, the way they were shown to have been in this film. It was hard to even locate during and after the crucifixion. As we can imagine, that is a very human and honest response, and it was reflected in this film.
Mary Magdalene comes into play at some point, played by Maria Botto. Her role was done well I think, and as a lot of the others that must have been part of the life of Jesus, were shown in a minimalist way in this film. I really kind of liked the angle throughout. Very fascinating to me as a person that enjoys history.
Some Final Thoughts on the Movie, Risen
I can definitely recommend this movie to anyone, and I would see it again with family or friends. It is a great week for me to see it personally, as it was the Monday before Easter, when my family celebrates the Resurrection of Christ. To those that don't believe in Jesus but appreciate movies of a historical nature, I think it would be just as enjoyable. Even if you thought the gospels were to be completely fictional, the story of Christ or Yeshua, is an amazing thing to know about because of the sheer fact it changed all of human history since it happened. It seems to continue to change people's lives, which I find very interesting. Its a beautiful story of redemption of mankind from the problem that plagues them the most, and gives hope for a future that never ends. A future that is not plagued by the ills of this world. Its a story that shows us why we need to take this path to get to that perfect life, in part. Its a story of looking into ourselves deeply, and introspectively to ponder the greater possibilities of life.
One of the things the movie portrays was how personal a decision this whole idea of "Jesus" is for everyone. For Clavius, a person that had hopes and dreams of his own, the idea of what Jesus offered to him seemed to strike a chord through dreams and what he personally observed. I think one of the most fascinating parts of this movie, was the realization that as an investigator or skeptic, are there any other options that may not be being considered at a given point along the way? In this case, the option that just maybe, it could be true? That it might be possible a resurrection was true? When all other options are exhausted, what do we do with the facts? Isn't this true of all of us in life in many different ways, as things play out?
In thinking about things like I have explained above, seeing this movie does make me consider and reconsider all the ways I view things in life. That may sound strange to say, but I am serious, and let me explain a bit further. As these last few years go by, and at this stage of my life, I have come to realize all the more just how precious life is. I hope to always be very critical in my thinking about the things that matter most, and that come along my path.
The idea of a resurrected Jesus may not be appealing to many people, and I know that is the case. For whatever reason, its a story that is passionate to many people over and over down the centuries. Its a beautiful story of a God that helps to remedy the broken problem that is within his creation, the biggest problem of all, that separates a man from his creator.
If you are considering seeing this movie, I hope that you will go and see it, or rent or own it later if you are reading this after it is out of theaters. It is full of hope, and can give people reason to really look at what we are pouring our lives into day after day.
Cliff Curtis played Yeshua, or Jesus. He did a great job, though his scenes were minimal, believe it or not! I think this was very purposeful and it worked out well. Stuart Scudamore, played Simon (Peter), and was had more screen time than Yeshua, I believe. I enjoyed watching the scenes with all the disciples, and the way the movie was done, it left you wanting more .
To Kevin Reynolds, the director, and Paul Aiello who wrote the story and screenplay, I am thankful for an enjoyable movie to watch during this Spring season. I truly enjoyed it, and I think it was very well done. I look forward to more from them!
The Trailer from the Movie, Risen
Poll on the Movie, Risen
Have you seen the movie, Risen?
On the Set and Behind the Scenes for the Movie, Risen
© 2016 Paula