Monday, March 2, 2009
So I finally saw Fireproof.
Here I have to balance three differant review hats. Personal preferance, Christain Film, Movie Critic. And it's a tricky movie for me to do that with because there's a of differant elements at play in this story.
The weakest part of the production was undeniably the script. Not from a plot or character perspective - there were just some parts/lines that were cheesy and poorly written. And I do think it was the script, not the actors, although I could be wrong.
Plot was pretty strong. So were the characters. Although the sense of this being a "Christain" film was definetely there (and in more than just the obvious ways), it was one of the stronger works in this field that I've seen. Part of that comes from unusually high production values. I was quite impressed by the cinematography and acting. No one's going to win any Oscars, but this was all a big step up from most work in this field.
I had to wrestle with the obvious message in the film, though. Usually I detest anything that smells of preachyness, and this film is nothing if not trying to push a message.
Fireproof is a film against divorce. But it is more than a film that says "Divorce is bad", it says, "Divorce is bad, here's why, and here's what you can do to fight against it, even when you don't feel that you're in love with your spouse anymore. But you can't do it on your own. You need Christ to help you." It's a strong message. But you know what? It works. Why? Well, it's done within a well told and engaging story. But there's more to it than that.
Fireproof is sucessful because the message it is trying to say is not only true, it is needed. Moreover it is complete. I would unhesitantly give this movie to any Christain couple that was struggling with marriage problems. And I think it would probably be a good film for engaged couples to watch as well.
Why did I say "Christain" couples? Well, because this is really a film made for a Christain audience. That doesn't mean it's preaching to the choir- Christain divorce rates show that Christains need to hear this message just as much as the secular world does. The differance is the secular world is likely to be turned off by the explicit Christain message.
It's not a perfect film - no film ever is (although some manage better than others) but it's a pretty good one. I wouldn't want every Christain film to have such an obvious message that they were trying to pound out, but I feel that this issue is so critical that there is definetely a place for Fireproof on the movie store shelves.