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Faith has ‘Risen’ in Theaters


I had the sheer pleasure of seeing an epic film screening of “Risen,” created by (Director) Kevin Reynold, (Screenplay) Paul Aiello, (Producer) Mickey Liddell, (Producer) Patrick Aiello, and (Producer) Pete Shilaimon. Risen stars several fantastic actors along the lines of Joseph Fiennes, Tom Felton, Cliff Curtis, and Peter Firth.

“Open your heart and see.” This is Mary Magdalen’s gentle reply to Clavius, an elite Roman warrior, as he wearily questions her regarding Yeshua (Jesus), a man who was many things. A carpenter, prophet, and Messiah, who died, and in three days rose from the dead!
“Risen” is an epic Biblical story of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. When one thinks of biblical movies, it’s almost always from the evangelical Christian perspective. The film “Risen,” however, is seen through the eyes of a non-believer, Clavius (Tribune), who’s the main character played by well known and charismatic actor Ralph Fiennes.

It’s a wondrous investigative mystery that left me breathless.

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This film’s perspective allows us to witness intimately Clavius’s internal struggles with a life-altering decision that would change not only who he is, or what he stands for, but his life, forever. 

I believe the central story of “Risen” unveils two important parts; the historical account of Jesus’s resurrection, begging our hearts to investigate the truth of who Jesus really is, and the poignant story which uncovers the very human struggles of a Roman Tribune’s coming to terms with his faith.  

The audience sees Clavius’s surmounting determination as Pontius Pilot’s right-hand man, and his desire for Rome’s power and loyalty to the only life he knows. In his assigned mission to find out the truth of the risen Jesus, Clavius is given assistance and paired with a very young and enthusiastic Gladiator named Lucius, played by (Tom Felton), a very promising young talent. 

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The film starts off with scenes of violence that sadly embodies the ravages of war as Clavius fights for his cause. Even though you get a good look into Clavius’s persona as Rome’s devoted and fearless warrior, there’s another side offered, a turbulent struggle between fierce loyalty and weariness evident in his face, perhaps a sadness in his eyes from numerous life-long battles. 

We see Clavius hesitantly go to the cross where he sees Jesus, and their eyes meet. It seems something greater than what Clavius can readily understand, stirs deep in his heart, as he bears witness to an innocent man’s gruesome death on a cross.

The stunning news that Jesus will rise from the dead after three days circulates Rome, angering Pontius pilot. Guards are stationed at Jesus’s tomb to block thieves from stealing his body.

Quickly, the disciples are under scrutiny and go into hiding, but when Mary Magdalen (played by Maria Botto), and others are questioned regarding Jesus’s missing body from the tomb, one by one, they are released. In his frustration, Clavius goes on a hunt after the disciples to find their meeting place, when he sees Mary and follows her. That’s when he enters the doorway, and with unbelieving eyes, sees the one man he never expects to see, someone who will change his life forever.

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This particular poignant scene uncovers Clavius’s profound struggle and the tender early realization that the rumors of the prophet called Jesus, are right. The scene is so beautiful, one of my favorites from this film. You’ll have to see what I mean by watching Ralph Fiennes at his very best. 

In another tender scene with Jesus, played by a very dynamic and veteran actor, (Cliff Curtis); Jesus asks what Clavius really fears, and he admits his greatest fear is being “wrong” in his life’s decision of faith. 

After the film had ended and the credits rolled, I sat there in silence for a long moment, too moved, to rush out of the theater; profoundly moved by Clavius’s courageous stand in faith, despite his fears.  

The whole of the film was sincere as the story allows the viewer a glimpse of our very real human struggles of faith, and life’s difficult decisions. Our choices can inevitably result in various sacrifices, but I believe without those, how can we truly provide evidence of our belief. 

I have to note that the producers/directors designed this film so that moviegoers could form their own conclusions about faith, certainly not to tell anyone what to believe, but perhaps examine their own thoughts on it.

Interestingly, I was asked by a young lady involved in the film’s screening of “Risen,” if there was loud applause at the film’s end. I replied, “It wasn’t that kind of film, it was deeply moving, and heartfelt in that you witness a beautiful hope, freely offered.”

This film is beautifully done to the detail, with truly breathtaking scenery shot on location on the Island of Malta, as well as scenes shot in the Almeria province along the coast of Spain. I believe it’s well worth seeing, believer or not. I’m excited to see it again and plan on taking my family.

The film is rated PG-13 for some violence and disturbing images. At the start of the film, there are battle scenes of war which may be too violent for very small children, so some caution is advised, as well as some scenes depicting decomposing bodies. Yes, eww! I kind of grimaced at those scenes all the while realizing the incredible makeup artists at work here! (it was not too bad though) Other then that, there was No nudity or heavy cursing, which I feel was a good thing. As always, parents should use their own discretion when deciding to view any film.


“Risen” is in theaters today!

Benita Purohit is a wife and mom, blessed with two beautiful children, daughter Isabella (an avid soccer player, who adores animals) and son Seth (a basketball and music lover). Benita’s family (including her beautiful mom, sister and two nieces) moved from Maryland six years ago to paradise in Laguna Niguel. She embraced change and left her position as a studio producer with Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, to be a stay at home mom. Currently she’s in the process of starting her own business. Benita and her children love the lord Jesus and try to live a life that shows love towards others. She’s a mom who loves people, going for hikes, reading and writing, old movies, enjoys shopping and crafting with her daughter, playing and singing with her son, mini-dates with her hubby, and spending time with her beautiful mother. Benita has been blessed with great sister-friends and she loves getting together with them and experiencing new things! ❤️ Life is better with Love in it! ❤️

We attended the screening as a guest of the studio

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