Is 'Risen' Based On A True Story? The Biblical Epic Looks At A Well-Known Tale From A New Point Of View
You may have heard of Risen, the new Kevin Reynolds movie which takes place in the aftermath of Jesus' crucifixion. Now, I will be the first to admit that blockbusters based on scripture make me very uncomfortable. That being said, when done tastefully, movies based on religious stories can be very powerful. What makes Risen in particular unique is that it's told from the viewpoint of two members of the Roman Military who are tasked with disproving Jesus' resurrection. This being the case, you might be wondering if Risen is based on a true story.
Sony Pictures' official website describes the film as an "epic Biblical story of the Resurrection, as told through the eyes of a non-believer." Producer RIch Peluso explained to the Christian Broadcasting Network that this is an unusual retelling because typically the story of the crucifixion and resurrection are told from the perspective of an omniscient narrator or a disciple. He said, "We have to think about the fact that when Jesus rose, the grave was empty. There were Romans that were there to guard it...What on earth was happening on the other side of the room that we're not paying attention to?" The script, written by Paul Aello and Kevin Reynolds, seeks to answer this question. It is therefore not a fact-based account, but a suggestion of what could have happened from, the vantage point of a skeptic. It's an interesting approach to a well-known tale, and it's also not the first time that a movie has examined a story from a different character's point of view.
Below are some other projects that have looked at an established story from a new perspective.
This crowd-pleasing musical (which, yes, will be made into a movie very soon) shows the story of The Wizard of Oz in a very different light through the eyes of the Wicked Witch of the West.
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead
This film, based on the play by Tom Stoppard, shows the events of Hamlet from the point of view of two of the Shakespearean tragedy's minor characters.
The Lion King 1 1/2
This third movie in the Lion King series retells the original story through the eyes of beloved TImon and Pumba. Extra irony here for the fact that The Lion King itself is basically the story of Hamlet in animal form.
Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows: Part 2
No, this movie isn't told in full through the eyes of a new character. But the scene where Harry draws our Snape's memories, showing viewers that that the professor had a very different experience of many of the series' events? The only way this scene could not break your heart is if you don't have one. And given the HP-based cast of Risen (Ralph Fiennes' brother Joseph is the protagonist, and Tom Felton plays his sidekick), it seems fitting for inclusion in this list.
So, what can you expect from Risen? Not an entirely new "true" story, but instead, a different take on a story with which many viewers are already familiar. See how it compares to your personal viewpoint when Risen comes to theaters Feb 19.
Images: Columbia Pictures; Cinecom Pictures