By CHARLOTTE ALLEN WSJ
|Risen New Faith-based Movie|
Furthermore, Mr. Reynolds has placed a distance between the passion narrative and the movie’s protagonist, Clavius ( Joseph Fiennes), a hardheaded and battle-weary Roman military tribune tasked by an exceptionally uneasy Pontius Pilate ( Peter Firth) with making sure that the dead Jesus, called Yeshua in the movie and played by Cliff Curtis, stays dead and that his body stays in his tomb. And after the body predictably disappears, Clavius must find it—or when that proves impossible, dig up a similar-looking crucified corpse. The movie manages to maintain the distance between the passion narrative and Clavius even after his door-to-door investigation brings him face to face with the risen Yeshua sitting with his disciples and showing his wounds to doubting Thomas.
... Mr. Reynolds could have skipped a resurrection scene that lights up Yeshua’s tomb with an exploding sunburst and an ascension into heaven that resembles the Bikini Atoll detonation. The director didn’t seem to trust his audience to take those seminal Christian events seriously unless he presented them with dogged literalness. That is too bad, because—no offense to the Son of God—the center of the movie isn’t Yeshua but Mr. Fiennes’s powerfully realized Clavius. At the movie’s end he wanders alone through the Judean desert, a liminal figure exiled from Roman society but unable to join with the disciples in preaching their gospel. He is a character who could have lifted the film out of the Christian-cinema ghetto to speak to a militantly secular world where faith seems not only impossible but risible. ...
read full WSJ article HERE
Also see new book Risen: The Evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus HERE