Friday, 19 February 2016 00:00

Risen Featured

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Review Written by Jarrod Lazarus


Leaving the theater after viewing "Risen" felt akin to an out of body experience. "What just happened?" I asked myself. The air inside and outside the theater was unremarkable. Nothing special there. Yet I felt as if I had witnessed an awakening inside me -- much like the lead character, a Roman military tribune, experienced on screen during his emotional rollercoaster and deeply spiritual journey which took place during the awe-inspiring course of this movie. This is a movie unlike any other I have seen -- a deep seated mystery and beautiful tragedy that took place 2000 years ago, with spiritual messages and challenges for today's world. For me personally, this movie awakened questions of "what if?"

"Risen" takes place during the period immediately after the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus Christ (Cliff Curtis) and tells the story of the Roman Tribune's (Joseph Fiennes) investigation into the alleged resurrection. At the behest of Roman Prefect Pontius Pilate, Clavius is charged with the retrieval of the crucified remains of Jesus in hopes of quelling the rumored rising of the Jewish Messiah in Jerusalem. As audience members, we are entreated to an astonishing display of supernatural and, in some cases, visually disturbing scenes as the mystery of the resurrection unfolds before Clavius' eyes. Through his interviews with Roman Centurions and Jesus' Apostles, we see Fiennes' character becoming more deeply and emotionally affected by what he finds, until he discovers the answers to questions and secrets locked within his own heart. The moment that happens, both Clavius and the audience, are forever transformed.

Though Risen is an excellently well-written and casted (and an exceptionally casted Curtis as Jesus of Nazareth), Risen is not for the faint at heart or those offended by somewhat comedic "take offs" of biblical scripture. Risen takes us from one extreme to the other, showing the brutality of crucifixion, yet portraying at least one of the Apostles as a somewhat 1960's free love hippy. Yet, in the end, this movie is a powerful and loving portrayal of the intoxicating beauty of the teachings of Jesus Christ, and one that I would watch over and over again.

Jarrod Lazarus

4 out of 4 Paws

Read 1716 times Last modified on Friday, 19 February 2016 15:58
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