Risen is an epic film that is a pure joy to watch. From the stunning visuals of Jerusalem to the countryside journey to Galilee the producers of this film put great effort in creating visually accurate sets. The visuals were not as important as the story and after watching the film I can attest that the story is solid, believable and well written.
The movie picks up immediately after the resurrection of Christ. Roman tribune Clavius is summoned by Pontius Pilate. As the movie unfolds you witness the results of the crucifixion as Clavius oversees the final moments Jesus spends on the cross. The films interpretation of the crucifixion was stunning. This portrayal of the crucifixion is shown through the eyes of the Roman crucifiers. The darkness of this crucifixion and the attitude of indifference of Clavius perfectly sets up the conversion of Clavius later in the film.
Pilate summons Clavius for a special task. Find the corpse of Jesus which was presumably stolen from the tomb by his followers. What unfolds is a biblical detective story for the ages. No stone is left unturned as graves are opened and multiple people are interviewed. The guards placed at the tomb tell a tale of a blinding light and an unearthly voice to which Clavius chalks this up to them being drunk. Then the unthinkable happens. Clavius discovers the Twelve at table in a room and in their midst, the man he gazed upon who had died on the cross.
The timing of this encounter is uncanny as it is the scene of doubting Thomas seeing and touching the wounds of Christ. Clavius begins his personal journey of becoming a believer that day, leaving the Roman army and joining the Twelve on a journey to Galilee in search of another encounter with the risen Lord. This adds another interesting twist to the story as Clavius helps the Apostles avoid the Roman army. Pontius Pilate is still intent on squashing the talk of a resurrected King of the Jews prior to a visit by Caesar to Jerusalem.
The character of Clavius is a fictional character interjected into the very real story of the death, Resurrection and Ascension of the Messiah. It illuminates the Gospel story in a new way for believers today. An epic film that delves deeply into the heart of Christianity which is the belief in the coming of the Messiah and the fulfillment of God’s promise made throughout salvation history. This film has a fresh take on the Gospels stories that one must see for themselves to fully appreciate. Bravo to all involved in this project for bringing this incredible story to life.
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