A cars salesman. Football Players. Fireman and Marriage. And now Policeman and Fatherhood. ‚~Courageous‚(TM) is the fourth cinematic courageous outing from Sherwood Baptist Church in which it chronicles the lives of several policeman who strive to become as good of fathers as they are policemen.
As Christian cinema goes it never gets too preachy and the acting is as good as the characters they portray. There is some real suspense and some genuine laughs mixed with some moments that made my wife cry. I love movies where my wife cries as it reveals how sensitive her heart is. I also laugh at her for being a typical woman. I also love to hear her laugh as she does so with more mirth then anyone I know. It fills me with joy. A movie where my wife laughs and cries is a good criteria of how to judge the worth of a film.
A movie that encourages men to be courageous in their responsibilities to their families when there are so many fatherless children is an important message that gets underplayed in a culture that does not value the foundation of the family with its glorification of non-committal relationships. I happen to be a blessed man by having a father who was there for me and taught me how to be a decent person. I hope that when my wife and I finally do get children I will be a courageous father who sacrifices for his children.
This film will appeal mostly to faith filled Christians. But because it is not just a sappy art deprived piece of Christian film-making, I think it could appeal beyond its target demographic, to all people who enjoy a well told story with an important message.
During the penitential season of Lent 2012, I decided to fast from watching movies. Mostly. I tended to fudge on it by reading allot about films and planning on what I would watch once Lent was over. Feeling the urge to head outside of the house and see one of the many flicks I had been reading about, I tried to convince my wife to accompany me to see either the critically acclaimed Studio Ghibli,film ‚~The Secret World of Ariety‚(TM) or the critically panned film ‚~The Lorax‚(TM), which I still think looks good, despite the negative reviews. If I did happen to watch a film, I promised myself that I would then write a review about it.
My overall goal for Lent is to give up being passive, laxidasical and slothful. This means applying myself and using my creative writing talents to create a useful reason for actually watching a film and not letting it be just to amuse myself. I will share that amusement or lack thereof with others by writing A review that was not fluff and had some substance to it. I do hope that this review is informative and entertaining. When my wife learned I was writing a review instead of a journal entry she concluded it would be boring and didn‚(TM)t want me to read it to her. How‚(TM)s that for someone who is supposed to root for the home team.
Not wanting to go to the cinema for financial reasons, I picked a film I thought would be a perfect Lenten film. ‚~The Mill and the Cross‚(TM). If I‚(TM)m going to watch films during the time I should be sacrificing, I should watch religious ones. TMatC It is philosophical artsy film about artist Pieter Bruegel the Elder's 1564 painting ‚~The Procession to Calvary‚(TM). It is also based on a book by Michael Francis Gibson called ‚~The Mill and the Crossa‚(TM). The film explores the world in which the painter paints his painting. It explores the many lives that one sees on the canvas. There is a structure and logic to the painting and there is a structure and logic to the film. It goes inside the painting thus going inside the mind of Bruegel.
It is the type of film that you would have to watch more than once in order to get the depth of what is going on story wise. Although despite its creativity and beautiful cinematography, you might not want to come back for a second viewing. My wife described it as ‚~calm and confusing‚(TM). You somewhat get to know the characters but never their names or some of the motivations behind their actions. For her it lacked a center that drew the story together. She also found the dead man strung up on a pole with crows pecking at his eyes to be morbid. The best moment in the film is when either Bruegel or some other character is explaining the meaning behind the symbolism of the painting or some aspect of the world around the painting.
The Mill and the Cross is overall a creative endeavor with some profound food for thought if you‚(TM)re in the right state of mind and can appreciate philosophical artsy reflective non-conventional cinema. It is worth watching at least once and perhaps more than once for the reasons I just mentioned. Although I‚(TM)m sticking with the just once.
Some nudity of a mother undressing in the presence of her child and some other scenes of sensuality plus somewhat graphic portrayal of violence make this a strictly cinematic affair for adults only. I now continue my journey to the cross of Christ on Good Friday and await the resurrection with him on Easter morning.