Monday, March 24, 2014
Movie Review: God's Not Dead
A college freshman must defend his faith against a passionate atheist professor, by putting God on trial in front of the entire classroom. Josh must convince his classmates that God exists in order to earn a passing grade in his philosophy class, but more than that, he must take a stand for what he knows is right.
This story, while focusing mostly on Josh and Professor Raddison and the conflict between and within them, also follows the lives of several individuals who share a commonality: each of them struggles with the position in which their beliefs --or lack thereof-- have placed them. Each must choose whether to hold their ground, or to surrender.
God's Not Dead is a passionate story about standing for your faith, holding onto your faith, and finding your faith. Often my concern with inspirational movies such as this, is that they will become overly sappy, unrealistic, or cheesy, but I felt this film held itself together well with relevant and thought-provoking content. Impressive were the performances by the leading cast, as well as those supporting. One concern about this movie, specifically, was the incorporation of the Newsboys and the Robertsons (Duck Dynasty), as cameos can sometimes feel out of place and forced, and often musicians make poor actors; yet, I felt that the appearances were appropriately placed and the scenes handled with finesse. I could pick at fine details, but as for the good and bad, the good certainly outweighed the bad. Above all, the message was powerful, and the quality top-notch (considering its limited budget).
It's too bad this film had such a limited release. Only one of the three theaters in our area was playing it, and the showing we intended to go to sold out; the one we attended looked to be very nearly sold out as well. The audience's response to the film was wholly positive. I'm not sure when was the last time I witnessed that much cheering in a movie theater. I hope this means there will be more films of like moral quality in the future.
I wanted to address the question, also, of whether or not this film was based on a true story, as some have wondered. It is not literally a true story-- the characters and plotline are fictional; however, in the end credits a lengthy list of actual court cases is given, upon which the case for God in the movie is based.