Title – Risen (2016)
Director – Kevin Reynolds (Waterworld)
Cast – Joseph Fiennes, Tom Felton, Cliff Curtis
Plot – Roman Tribune Clavius (Fiennes) is tasked to discover what happened to the body of a crucified prophet known as Yeshua (Curtis) who many believe has risen from the dead to reign on high.
“I have seen two things which I cannot reconcile: A man dead without question, and that same man alive again”
Review by Eddie on 26/09/2016
While it has its roots firmly planted in the made for TV style production values that inhabit films with far less of a budget than was on hand for Kevin Reynolds dramatization of Jesus’s crucifixion and eventual resurrection and the effect it has on Joseph Fiennes’s Roman Solider Clavius, Risen is a curious enough film that will hold your attention and even make you ponder.
Pondering isn’t something you usually associate with director Kevin Reynolds whose career trajectory has gone from box office hits like Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and renowned disasters like the Kevin Costner mega flop Waterworld but he shows a restraint with Risen that isn’t usually prevalent in his productions, a sign perhaps that the aging filmmaker has toned it down even if Risen has a few scattered action scenes and thrills, but its focus remains largely on the moral dilemma Clavius eventually faces and how it affects his mindset.
Regardless of one’s religious orientations the biblical story of Jesus and his rise from the tomb wherein he laid will be a familiar one, yet Reynolds does pose the interesting question of what it would’ve been like to have been there and be privy to what many had considered a mere mortal rising from the grave and with Clavius we’re given a first-hand look at this scenario.
Fiennes alongside a bearded Draco Malfoy in the form of Tom Felton’s Lucius operate as our main protagonists and while the two don’t exactly share an abundance of charisma or deliver stand out performances, their easy enough to follow characters and Clavius’s arc as a nonbeliever turned believer is an interesting one and while the film veers a little too much towards the melodramatic in the scenes involving Cliff Curtis’s incarnation of Jesus there’s enough solidarity laid beforehand that it matters little.
While it won’t be remembered as a classic and while its various flaws halt it in its tracks at times, Risen is an intriguing dramatization of a world changing event and while there’s been countless films produced on the topic Reynolds film does enough differently that it feels new enough and fresh enough to be worth a home viewing.
3 full fishing nets out of 5