Ephraim's Rescue (2013)
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Good movie, but not great... I know filmmakers tried to make a miraculous spiritual Mormon movie. But I think they did too much. I believe real Ephraim Hanks story was amazing, but movie's story was just normal... I didn't feel the strong spiritual power and messages... All miraculous scenes were too easy for me... I saw some sad scenes, but I didn't cry! Climax was more like a comedy! Actors were good, I liked the connection of Ephraim and Thomas Dobson. Same director of 17 Miracles and I didn't like that movie. This movie was better than that, but still not good enough. Nice try, but honestly I wanna see really great Mormon movies...
My main gripe with this film is the constant narration, telling us the story rather than letting the visuals speak for themselves, really annoyed me. My guess as to why they felt the need to throw in so much exposition is due to the haphazard structuring and lack of a central focus. The surprising lack of a central character is troubling, we're constantly bouncing back and forth between side characters until we completely forget whose story we're meant to be watching. In fact, Ephraim's probably got the least amount of screen time in his own movie. Another problem is in finding an anchoring character, because just when you're getting involved with one set of characters, and you're acclimating to the idea of following them instead of Ephraim, they either die on the trail, or we've gone on to yet another side character. In a lot of ways, the storytelling in this film reminded me of the kindly old grandfather who sits down and tells his kids a story of his daring exploits, and instead of telling it to you straight, his mind begins to wander and he starts going off on unrelated tangents, and he does it often enough to where you lose interest and don't care to hear any more. The only reason to sit through the whole thing is to avoid hurting the speaker's feelings. That's the only reason I sat through the entire film, because the story means a lot to the people in my family and my neighborhood and we were all watching it together in the same room. Highly awkward situation to just up and walk away from, especially when it deals with issues of faith. You'd hate to be called a non-believer just because you didn't want to watch the rest of a meandering movie, but hey, sometimes it happens, and you just gotta let it roll off your back.
Ephraims rescue was a surprisingly funny and heartwarming film about the power of faith during times of extreme tribulation. By the end there wasn't a dry eye in the audience. One musn't be Mormon to enjoy this beautiful movie.
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