Sunday, February 21, 2016

Movie Review- Risen

Follows the epic Biblical story of the Resurrection as told through the eyes of a non-believer. Clavius, a powerful Roman Military Tribune and his aide, Lucius, are tasked with solving the mystery of what happened to Jesus in the weeks following the crucifixion, in order to disprove the rumors of a risen Messiah and preventing an uprising in Jerusalem.

This is by far the best Biblical-based movie I have ever seen. The filmmakers did not feel the need to over-embellish or "re-imagine" the true events in order to create an entertaining story. Instead, they filled in the details of the story and found a creative new way to tell it by using the perspective of an outsider.

This movie made me think. Seeing Clavius struggle to reconcile what he thought he knew, with what he was seeing and experiencing to the contrary was really amazing. Imagine being a foreigner who had not been immersed in Jewish history and prophecy, nor have you heard anything about this Nazarene man until you are tasked with finding his body. It is a whole new ballgame.

The setting of the movie was perfect and authentic. It was dusty, dirty, and hot, mingled with an earthy kind of beauty that was spectacular. The people were dirty, sweaty, and looked very normal. The filmmakers did not try to make the crucified bodies, or anything other bloody and dirty aspect seem neat and tidy. They showed it for what it was without being unnecessarily gory. I did wince many times when watching this film, but that was entirely appropriate given the subject matter.

The characters were solid. Clavius was a very driven individual, but he wasn't one dimensional. You knew from the very beginning that he was human. His character arc was very consistent and believable.

The disciples. Oh goodness, this is how Bible stories should be told! The disciples were adorable and hilarious. Indeed, I did not expect to laugh as much as I did when watching this film. The writers did a lovely job mingling humor with the serious events of this story. It's easy to get the impression sometimes that people in ancient times were all solemn and serious, and only focused on life and death issues. But people are people, and God gave Mankind a sense of humor. The disciples were just that, they were people living in a rough time who needed a sense of humor to brighten up their life.

This entire movie was consistent, well-rounded, and left me feeling very satisfied. I highly recommend it to believers and non-believers alike.