Last Year I had a unique opportunity to interview actor Kirk Taylor and, during that interview we discussed his upcoming film about the story of Christ told through a unique perspective. In that interview I found myself hoping to get a chance to see that very production although I have never been one for religious films of any kind. However, ever since Kirk described Revival as being ‘Jesus Christ Superstar and Godspell meets 2001 Space Odyssey.’ it has had me intrigued and, after seeing it, I have to say, it was well worth the wait.
As with any holiday season, there are always a deluge of films depicting the life and times of the person known as Jesus Christ. From animated films to hallmark specials there is no lack of them making it hard to find one that is remotely original. From the get go, Revival shows that it is indeed something unique.
Told from the vantage point of a stage production, we find the lead actor (played by Mali Music) beginning to actually experience the events that Jesus first hand as he prepares to step on stage for his production of the passion play. Combining stage production, musical elements and a journey through time itself, this film dives into life and ministries of Jesus Christ in a unique and innovative way.
Played by the tremendous artist Mali Music, Jesus comes across as a gentle soul and devoted teacher. Mali’s performance of both the actor portraying Jesus and the embodiment of Jesus Christ himself is impressive and one that is sure to be remembered as a standout in a long line of actors who have taken on this challenging role. I have to say, having never heard Mali’s work in the past, this film really showcases his incredible vocal talent. He has an amazing voice that is simply mesmerizing and is an artist to keep an eye on for sure.
Along with Music’s standout performance he is supported by a tremendous cast including the famous Chaka Khan as Herodias, Michelle Williams as Mary Magdalen, Kirk Taylor as Cephas, Anthony Azizi as Judas, Ahmed Ahmed as Satan and many others. With such and incredibly talented and musically inclined cast, it is no surprise that music and song is key in this production.
Embracing a wonderful range of musical styles from rhythmic chants to even upbeat jazz numbers, there is no lack of incredible songs that enhance each story as it is being told in the film. I particularly love the Temptation of Christ segment with Ahmed Ahmed playing a fantastic version of Satan along with Victoria Gabriette Platt and Griffon Gluck as the Temptress and Lucifer respectively. There is not a wasted moment or note in this film and you will find yourself humming some of the songs days after watching Revival.
The Bottom Line
Introduced (and produced) by actor Harry Lennix (who also plays the role of Pilate), Revival is a tremendous production telling the tale of Jesus Christ and his teachings in a unique and impressive way. Revival transforms the Story of Christ into one that can be appreciated by most anyone, utilizing a multitude of musical styles and stunning visuals to create a fully accessible tale.
As I mentioned at the start, I am not someone who typically enjoys religious films. Most often that genre tends to come off as either overly sanctimonious or just that of a religious propaganda film. This is not the case Revival on any count. Revival is a film that does what it sets out to do, to simply tell the story of Jesus in a way that can be understood by anyone, utilizing modern musicians and a richly diverse cast without forcing any message other that what you take of it when the credits roll. Simply put, whether you are a religious person or not, Revival is a film worth experiencing and one that stands firm on its own.
You can find out more about Revival here.
Thanks for reading!
Late To The Game 4/12/2020 (originally posted 12/8/2019)
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