Risen, the Movie, the Review

Setting: Today a look at Capitol movie release "Risen" starring Joseph Fiennes as Clavius, a murderous and successful Roman tribune in 30 CE (AD). The setting is the Roman occupation of ancient Judea/ Israel. The title comes from the story told by the followers of Yeshua (that's the name he's called even in the movie) that their hero/ messiah is risen from the dead. Pontius Pilate charges the military tribune Clavius with the responsibility to quell the rumours which otherwise might end Pax Romana, especially before the imminent visit of the Emperor Tiberius.

The acting is real; the settings superb, recreated in Spain for the movie, which depicted the historical accounts of the messianic hopeful named in English Jesus of Nazareth. He is often titled in the movie "The Nazarene" highlighting his roots in nearby Galilee. Scenes include fishing, the healing of a leper, terrorised Jews running from Roman domination, even the end of the crucifixion scene well known in history of three criminals.

Tom Felton (Lucius) from the Harry Potter series plays a rookie tribune-to-be and has some serious conflicts with his hero, played so well by Fiennes. Peter Firth (Pilate) had many issues, most of which had to do with keeping the calm. I liked that most characters are not one-dimensional. I say 'most' because the Jewish leadership seems always aggravated and malicious. Everything that Mel Gibson did not allow about Jewish people in his "Passion of the Christ" Kevin Reynolds (director)and Paul Aiello (scriptwriter) did. I'm disappointed with that part of the film. However, the main storyline is so good that I can somewhat overlook that (with regrets).

The visual references to the Shroud of Turin, which doesn't come into history's play for over a millennium is unnecessary I thought. The sealing of the tomb of Yeshua, the love of the Nazarene and fair-go by Joseph of Arimathea are important highlights and have been well-included. The conversation with Bartholomew (Nathaniel) and Clavius highlight the issue of doubt/ faith and why anyone should ever believe in this story.

I like the character of Yeshua (Cliff Curtis, Kiwi actor) who during the first half of the movie is known only through a visual point-- his death. He doesn't move nor speak. The woman Mary Magdalene, along with the disciples Peter, John, even Thomas, come to their own as the movie continues and then the major risen character, Yeshua takes centre stage. And he's a likeable triumphant one. He appears and disappears. He instructs the fearful followers to meet him up north. He comes and goes at will. And during his post-resurrection visits he eats with them, helps them find a major fish cache, forgives and re-instructs Simon Peter, and the leper scene happens. (Which doesn't happen in the biblical record at that time). All the while Clavius, with Lucius and his colleagues, seek to finish this rumour's nonsense, find the body, and settle Jerusalem back to normal.

I won't unpack the ending, but since the Bible doesn't record any interactions between Yeshua and unbelievers after the Resurrection, the encounters "Risen" show are "Hollywood"ed for us. It does make for a good story, and what Clavius determines is useful for every believer and every unbeliever who watch to the end. I like that the Hollywood add-ons are not distractions at all, but rather make the story that much fuller. After all, when CSI, NCIS, and Ben Hur come together this is a likely screenplay.

The main question anyone will have when they make their way to the parking lot is "Is that true? Did Yeshua rise from the dead?" And that's a huge question for all of us to ask. If he had risen, from the reality of the crucifixion, then what evidence is required? Two things: 1) his body was not in the grave and 2) physical appearances to many. Without the empty tomb, the appearances are mere fancy, hallucinations of madmen. Without the appearances, the empty tomb is merely evidence of some clever grave robbers and re-buriers. But with both... the evidence is in. And Clavius and every honest skeptic has to deal with that reality.

And so do you. So, watch the movie. It's worth the money. And it may impact your life more than Harry Potter. More than Fiennes' Shakespeare in Love. You never know. Give it a try soon. Before it goes to video.


eyeontruth said…
Perhaps it is due to widespread propaganda but more so of the spirit, a strong delusion people fail to see the obvious before them. In reverence for the awakening of truth in Jesus Christ, I understand the joy " the message of eternal life" brings you as Jews. It "allegedly does this for people calling themselves "Christians- but also Zionists, at the same time which is not only an oxymoron it is a blasphemy to God just as the "ignoring and delusion" that allows for the NOAHHIDE LAWS of the TALMUD to remain by all illegal means as public law in the USA since 1991. THAT WHICH ALL JEWS SHOULD KNOW WAS WRITTEN ONLY FOR GENTILES-GOYIM and cmes with criminal execution by beheading even for holding belief in Jesus Christ. The true test of belief by heaart and soul and given the gidt of the Holy Spirit being "goy" or converts [ without threat ] but truth and love, to expose and remove this illegal Congressional Act off the books immediately. It is 2016 and still not one Christian, secular, nor Messianic, convert Jew has done anything to change this. As for Risen, the complete twisting of facts, blaming Romans for his crucification, forgetting to mention Pilot found no wrong in Jesus and handed him to the Rabbi.he was punished under Senhedrin law same as the Noahide went and will go if the Noahide public law comes into fruitation. The sealing oof the Tomb by the " Talmudic-Rabbie" sealing of RED="BLOOD" ROPED ON THE ROUND STONE INTO A PENTAGRAM-STAR..............FREEMASONIC-SATANIC SYMBOL......AND THE "IMPYING OF MARY MAGDELENE WHEN ASKING HOW TO FIND HER, He goes into the abor workers sleeping quarters to ask them if anyone knows her Why did he do this ? Because, they drink and have sex with prostitutes so the raising of hands was implying they all had sex with her as a " WHORE" and of course, JESUS MOTHER was completely insullted in this movie as simply void. Remember, the TALMUD reads of Mary his mother also being a WHORE as all GOYIM females are nothing but dirty WHORES. I challlenge your new love for Jesus to open your eyes and study deeper into the truth as the story of Mary Magdelene and how and why Jesus saved her is a far cry from her being a whore, the TALMUDIC ELDERS, RABBI-without one spoken word from Jesus all forced to drop their stones..w forget the locals knew her as a child, and they claimed 7 demons in her, to this day demons inhabit and transfer into peoples bodies and Mary Magdalene came from childhood sexual abuses by these men. They corrupted her body and soul, Therefore it was of no doing or fault of Mary but the men who abused her as "their sins" and the demons they placed inside of her..Jesus cleaned her back to her innocent form. She was a Holy women. Just as someday, perhaps after death he will forgive and bring whole again all children who were deviled by SATANIC MEN and WOMEN, sexually and ritually abused, made to do terrible things and terrible things done to them including blood libel torture and death fot ehse wicked people. Jesus said, "Ye are of your father the devil, a synagogue of Satan, those who call themselves Jews and are not Jews." Why is no one hearing this, and especially the blind and ignorant ones in Christian Zionism and Freemasonry ? Their God is Lucifer. Risen, made the apostles look like silly clowns giggling cult members with no brains of their own..it was shameful.And who was this Roman praying ? A small figurine of the pagan "goat-man" ? After seeing this, then the COMPLETE worship of RA,which is also symbolic at the end of RISEN implying YESHUA with the SUN coming down behind him and taking him away.......Gods of EGYPT.....HORUS, giving new rules for the afterlife when "SET" AKA LUCIFER HIS "UNCLE" was cast out.
Bob Mendelsohn said…
Dear EyeOn,

Some interesting comments. Unfortunately they are all strung together in such a way that's it sounds more like a rant. If you had to unpack your top two considerations and problems with the movie (And I wasn't shy to name a couple I had with Risen), what would they be?

I think you are a Catholic and want Mary and Mary Magdalene treated more kindly and the disciples to be shown as smarter or at least more spiritual men. Is that right?

I'm not sure what your hostility to the Noahide Laws is... for most Gentiles the 7 laws of the Sons of Noah are irrelevant, as is much of any religion. For most Jewish people, the Noahide Laws are unknown. So it's an interesting albeit quaint, exercise even to mention them.

Look, Hollywood takes a story and adds to or subtracts from it. That's the difference between a novel and a screenplay. Adapted is not the same as keeping to the original script. I remember a movie made some decades ago named "Jesus" where the writers chose to let Jesus say only words that were in the Bible. (Except once he greeting someone with "Hi.") But all his teachings, his entire speech, his every word was right from the Bible. I applauded it at the time, and still do. And yet, it's not necessary to keep to that Bible-as-screenplay. Holy imaginings are allowed. In my world, anyway.

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