‘Risen’ presents a new side of a familiar story


Columbia Pictures/LD Entertainment/Affirm Films

“Risen” may have interesting characters and perspectives in the form of Clavius (Joseph Fiennes), but the film’s source material makes it somewhat of a bore to watch.

Jason Zheng, Staff Writer

You may think you already know the stories behind Jesus’ resurrection. But think again.

“Risen,” released on Feb. 19, was yet another story of the events following the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Unlike most versions, though, this version had a unique take on the story; this time, the events were seen through the eyes of a nonbeliever.

The story unfolded as Clavius (Joseph Fiennes), a Roman centurion, investigated rumors of Jesus’ possible resurrection and searched for the missing body of Jesus of Nazareth (Cliff Curtis). As he pieced together his findings, though, he changed what he believed little by little, and he eventually found himself joining a band of disciples on a journey to find Jesus.

The film’s direction and focus were what made it interesting. Most renditions of the tale cast the Romans as the antagonists, which was still the case in this movie. But because of Clavius, the audience got to look from a Roman centurion’s perspective on the events and how these events impacted the believing system of a nonbeliever. This helped add a different layer around the story.

Characters were another highlight of the film. Rather than the stereotypical view of Romans as rude and power-hungry tyrants, this film presented a more rational Roman military leader. Through Clavius, the film revealed some traits of the Romans which were rarely covered (or intentionally ignored) in other Biblical stories, and made him someone to sympathize with.

However, the film had some limitations. Because the film was an adaptation of a well-known Biblical tale, the movie did not bring much surprises in terms of plot. Despite the innovations due to perspective flips, the basic gist was the same, so it seemed boring at times.

All in all, “Risen” had a rather interesting premise and believable characters, but as it was a retelling of a classical tale, it didn’t offer much interesting new content to the viewers.

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