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  • Writer's pictureThomas Bonifield

Review: "The Chosen" Delivers

The second half of season one deftly balances Jesus' divinity and humanity in an engaging portrayal of the early stages of his ministry.

Director Dallas Jenkins, right, during filming of episode eight of "The Chosen." Image: "The Chosen"/Instagram.

The Chosen, which is the first-ever, multi-season dramatic series about the life of Jesus, rolls out the final four episodes of its inaugural season tomorrow. Christian Film Blog was able to screen episodes five through eight and came away impressed.

In an effort to comply with the wishes of the filmmakers, and avoid spoiling any surprises, we will refrain from giving many specifics here, other than what can be reasonably expected in light of the fact that this first season deals with the beginning of Jesus' ministry and associated events drawn from the Bible. Episode five, as we mentioned in a previous article, focuses on His budding relationship with the earliest disciples and a trip to Cana for a wedding. There are several new and important characters introduced and we witness the first public demonstration of the Savior's miraculous power.

Jonathan Roumie plays the part of Jesus in "The Chosen." Image: "The Chosen"/Instagram.

Actor Jonathan Roumie, who plays the Jesus character, comes into his own through these four episodes, adroitly conveying a sense of both approachability and authority in the Christ, a perfect equilibrium between the temporal and the eternal, which is obviously no mean feat. But he pulls it off and it really undergirds the rest of the production, because without a believable performance from him, The Chosen would fall apart.

Director Dallas Jenkins, who also co-wrote the scripts, does a good job with his fellow writers of fleshing out the humanity of the other characters as well by filling in the gaps in Scripture - this is a drama, remember - and supplying believable scenarios in which they come to terms with the divinity of Jesus and the place they, their loved ones and their personal affairs must now occupy in relation to Him.

In that connection, the role of Nicodemus, played by actor Erick Avari, is particularly noteworthy in the poignancy of its telling. He, of course, is the Pharisee Jesus interacts with in the third chapter of the Gospel of John, learning that a man must be born again in order to enter the Kingdom of God. We found the pathos of Avari's performance convincing; so much so that it punctuates all of season one, starkly laying out the choice faced by each and everyone one of us when confronted by the the person of Jesus: we must pick a side - either for Him or against Him - and all of eternity rides on that decision.

There are also some flashbacks and Old Testament stories incorporated into these new episodes to give context and they prove helpful and well done, as is the Gospel narrative that drives the series. In a word, Christian Film Blog found very few holes in the production and we rate it a 9 out of 10 and recommend you watch it.

That can be done by purchasing it on Tuesday, November 26th on the program's app - The Chosen - which can be accessed via the usual suspects: the App Store from Apple or Google Play. You can also order DVD and Blu-ray copies of episodes five through eight, or all of season one, at the show's website. One final note - tonight at 7:30 PM EST, filmmakers are putting on a free viewing party of the first half of season one - episodes one through four - and episode five, meaning you'll get to see that latter episode before it is officially released tomorrow. Go to The Chosen's YouTube Channel if you want to watch.


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