The Dallas Movie Screening Group

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Thursday, February 18, 2016

Risen






Opening:

I am not a fan of religious films nor am I a religious person. I think the producers of most religious films churn them out without any care really taking advantage of the core audience that goes to see them. But hey, I am an idiot and it’s just my opinion. So, how is this one? Let’s get reel and break this down.


Plot:

Follows the epic Biblical story of the Resurrection, as told through the eyes of a non-believer. Clavius, a powerful Roman Military Tribune, and his aide Lucius, are tasked with solving the mystery of what happened to Jesus in the weeks following the crucifixion, in order to disprove the rumors of a risen Messiah and prevent an uprising in Jerusalem.


Directing/Writing


Pros:

Director Kevin Reynolds crafts an interesting story with a different perspective told through the eyes of a non-believer versus a traditional religious film focusing mainly on Jesus or a follower of sorts. This makes the film more intriguing told from a different voice as well as having a better and more satisfying character arc from the main character.
 
Cons:
There were a few scenes where it was a little hokey for me and took me out of the movie for a bit and some of the side characters were kind of flat or over-the-top.


Acting


Pros:

Joseph Fiennes was fantastic in the main role and carried the film. His arc as a character was great to witness because he portrays an actual human being. What I mean by that is a person who questions life: why are we here? What is our purpose? He looks for answers in some areas in life and thinks he knows everything about others. His beliefs are questioned and he is forever changed and that makes a great arc. There were also a few scenes containing Fiennes that impressed me on an Oscar calibrated level. The other huge plus is that, I think, this is the first religious movie to portray Jesus as an actual Arab Jew and not like someone popped out of a Hollister ad.
 
Cons:
Besides a couple side characters, the rest of the cast was ok at best. No one was bad, just serviceable.


Cinematography


Pros:

The night scenes are filmed with great lighting and add a historical atmosphere that grounds the story.
 
Cons:
I don’t know if it’s the sets that were used or what, but every time it was daytime it had a sterile made for TV look to it. So maybe the sets at night were lit better?


Editing/Special Effects



Pros:
The interest of the story had me hooked after Jesus left the tomb and almost felt like a mystery suspense/drama providing a good pace to it.
 
Cons:
The first ten minutes, not going to lie, were a bit rough and I didn’t see it recovering but I was ultimately wrong.
 
Overall:
Listen…I am not the target audience for religious movies but I give every movie a chance and go in with an open mind. Is this the best movie ever or an awards winner? No. But what I can tell you is that when I was in that theater for an hour and fifty minutes I was entertained, simple as that.
 

Grade: B-

(Review by Chase Lee)








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