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Sunday, January 22, 2012

"Courageous" - Movie Review

Not that I consider myself a great movie critic but for both my Christian and non - Christian friends, I like to give a bit of a glimpse into what a faith-based production , like this one, is all about and what you can expect.

As mentioned, this is a faith based production and as such it has an inherent uphill battle to climb in the sense of budget and finding quality actors.  But I think most would agree that  faith-based movie productions are getting better and better all the time.

The first one that really blew me away (compared to my expectations) was Fireproof ( the same folks produced this movie as well) . Then there is "To Save a Life", probably the best one to date.

Don't forget other great Christian inspired movies like "Luther" (bio-pic of Martin Luther, 15th century church reformer played by Joseph Feinnes) and Soul Surfer ( also a bio of a young girl who overcame the odds and found her ultimate success in God).

What I enjoy about some of the Christian movies coming out now, besides the improvement of production and acting, is that they seem a lot more real to life - genuine struggles, wrestling with God etc...

Anyways - back to this particular movie - Courageous - which is now available on Blu-Ray, DVD, and through most cable companies.

Courageous is essentially about fatherhood.. and by implication parenthood in general.

But it does focus on the man, and particularly the father, because the producers perceive ( as do I) a general lack of maturity, responsibility and understanding on the part of fathers in today's world.  There also seems to be a lack of support for them, a lack of role models, or even a safe place to just be honest and transparent about the issues they are facing.

I took my youth group to see this movie in an actual theatre ( believe it or not) and it was thoroughly enjoyed by all and discussion ensued afterwards on the topic.

At first I was a bit concerned because some of the kids there did not have fathers in their life or had fathers that were not particularly great - and I didn't want them to feel singled out or feel like they couldn't make it in this life because of this lack of father presence.

However the writers of this movie were smart enough to realize the human condition and the society we live in. Although the importance of the affect a father has on their child is seriously highlighted, they seem to cover almost all the bases when they deal with such topics as:

> The regret of not spending quality time with your child

> The shame a father feels when he can't provide properly for his family

> The fear a young man feels when he accidentally  impregnates a girl  - and  the flight response that ensues.

> The emotional struggles and of a grown man still holding deep bitterness towards his father for not being there for him when he was young and the mighty power of forgiveness.

> The challenge to break the cycle of poor fathering and be there for your child in the here and now

> The realization that all of us men can be a mentor to someone who doesn't have a father in their life - a father to the fatherless so to speak.

This movie views fatherhood from the perspective of all members of the family and all generations - and I really appreciated that.

I think you will genuinely laugh and cry during this film and that's the way it should be.

For my non-Christian friends, this movie does preach the Gospel at times and is unapolegetic for that ( it also pokes holes in some Christian's hypocrisy) . But even if you have misgivings about any "religiousness" in the movie, I think you will enjoy watching it and going on the journey that the men in this film travel.

Because these are not just Christian problems - they are human problems. I think that you will be able to identify with at least one of the characters and , even if  only for the family issues faced or emotional healing of it all, I think you just might be glad you watched it.