The movie “Risen” was released on DVD this week, so I want to give it a brief review. In a nutshell, it’s the story of a Roman tribune named Clavius (Joseph Fiennes), who oversees the crucifixion of Jesus and then is tasked with finding his body after it disappears. Of course, anyone familiar with the gospels knows that the body Clavius finds won’t be in the decaying shape he expects.
Fiennes’ performance impressed me the most about “Risen.” He is a world-weary warrior who longs for “a day without death,” someone who has seen so much battle and bloodshed that he wants to leave it all behind by achieving a comfortable position in Rome.
When he confronts various disciples of Jesus, Clavius seems confounded by the calm and peace they exhibit in the face of threats to their life. And they attribute it all to Jesus, who they claim has risen from the dead. As a cynical worshiper of the war god Mars, Clavius doesn’t buy it. But still, he finds himself intrigued by both Jesus’s followers and the legacy of the man who claimed to be the Hebrew God in the flesh.Considering the movie’s title, I don’t think it’s a spoiler to say that Clavius eventually finds the answers for which he’s looking, and they lead him down a new path in life.
My only qualm with the film is that it makes Mary Magdalene a prostitute, an old belief that has since been disproven.
Overall, though, “Risen” is well worth your time as a story of following the truth wherever it leads.
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