(image credit: Colombia Pictures)

Honestly, I didn’t know what to expect when walking into “Risen.” Promotional ma­terial for the film made it seem like a religious “faith-seeking” movie, yet its premise in a nut­shell sounds as if it would be a more traditional story, just set around the time of the crucifix­ion of Christ.

I definitely kept that in mind when I sat down to watch it and was surprised when it walked the line of both ideas. The result was an enjoyable movie.

The story is simply the res­urrection of Christ, but from the view point of the Romans. To the movie’s credit, it is an angle that I have never seen be­fore and made for an interesting interpretation. Seeing how the Romans justify a man coming back from the dead and how they deal with this supposed messiah made up some of the best parts of the film.

The first half of the movie is the main character trying to find a body, since the Romans be­lieved it to be a hoax by Christ’s followers to start rebellion. This first half is the more original part and will hold most viewer’s attention. The second half does however take a bit of a left turn.

With only minor spoilers, the protagonist finds Christ alive about halfway through the film.

At that point, the story switches from the Romans try­ing to find a body to a non­believer witnessing Christ’s miracles first hand. That may sound very preachy but “Risen” surprisingly keeps the “preachi­ness” of the message to a mini­mum.

The movie makes it obvious that this is not a Christian film that tries to make you follow their beliefs, but is a story sim­ply set around these events.

A good example of this is the portrayal of Christ in the mov­ie. He is not shown as a white, chestnut brown haired, perfect man. Instead, he is shown as a normal person who would’ve lived in that area of the world around that time. Darker skin, dirty, short hair and a more re­alistic looking body type. They also never call him Jesus or even Christ, but by his Hebrew name.

Even the ending, which won’t be spoiled here, doesn’t go for the “finding the light” storyline that other religious films about nonbelievers do. “Risen” goes for a more real­istic idea that some events can change people’s point of view, or at least make them question themselves and how they see the world.

Overall, the film is enjoyable and doesn’t offend the audience, whether religious or not. If you were worried “Risen” would be about a “message,” take sol­ace in the fact that it is not like that. “Risen” is a good film, and manages to tell a story about a specific religious event without being too preachy.



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