12 June 2015

Movie Review: "The Song"

Rated: PG-13 for thematic elements including some substance abuse, smoking and rude references
Starring: Alan Powell, Ali Faulkner, and Caitlin Nicol-Thomas
Released: September 26, 2014 (theaters) / February 10, 2015 (DVD)
Synopsis: Jed King (Alan Powell), the son of famous singer David King (Aaron Benward), has largely lived in his father's shadow.  During a performance at a local fair, he meets the lovely Rose Jordan (Ali Faulkner), and they fall in love and soon get married...only for Jed to soon make it big, and play one concert after another.  Worse yet, he and his touring partner Shelby Bale (Caitlin Nicol-Thomas) start to make magic together...and not just on stage! With Jed involved in adultery, drug use, and alcoholism, his life has gotten seriously off-track.  Will he discover the error of his ways before it's too late?
Inspired by the Biblical Song of Solomon.

The Good: I've been waiting to see this movie since I first heard about it, and, for the most part, it delivers.  The performances are wonderful, in both the musical and acting departments; when Jed and Rose got into a horrible argument, I definitely felt their pain.  Bringing the Bible into a modern setting is tricky, especially when it comes to the Song of Solomon, but this film does it well.  It also shows admirable restraint when it comes to the sexual content; you know what's happening, but you don't see any half-naked people in bed or hear any erotic sounds, both of which have plagued many a "PG-13" flick.  In other areas, the film is a bit hard-edged, but, with such subject matter, you kind of need it to be; the problems it discusses are no joke.

The Bad: I really only have one complaint about this movie, but it's kind of a big one: Tattoos are used to signify evil; Jed's mistress has them, and she leads him to get one during his affair, which he later tries to get rid of with bloody results.  While I have no desire to get inked myself, I know people who have them who are not only good folks, but committed Christians.  If you or someone you are close to has some ink to show off, that may offend you; just be warned.

Content Concerns:
  • Sex: Implied, and discussed in a "PG" way.  An affair occurs, but isn't shown, and it is vilified. 3/5
  • Nudity: Shelby wears some off-the-shoulder and/or low-cut outfits; Rose is seen only wearing a sheet. 4/5
  • Language: Name-calling includes "fool," "sk*nk", and "whore". 4/5
  • Violence: An out-of-focus hanging; a marital spat that leads to a man breaking some windows; an argument that leads to some punching and slapping; a self-inflicted wound that is a bit bloody. 2/5
  • Drugs: Many people smoke and drink, including Jed, who also takes illicit drugs; all of it is vilified. 2/5
  • Frightening/Intense Scenes: The arguments are emotionally intense, as is a funeral scene; Jed has visions that are a bit freaky. 2/5
  • Other: Some people may take offense with the fact that tattoos are used to signify evil. 4/5
Conclusion: It's tough to review a film that you've waited a long time to see; considering that I sought after this movie for months, it could be the best flick ever and I'd still be a bit underwhelmed.  I'm a fan of Christian cinema, and I thought this one was an exemplary example of it; it was well-made, and didn't shy away from the serious topics.  Sure, it isn't kid stuff, but, for adult viewers like me, this is a treat.  If you happen to come across this movie at your local library or on your streaming service of choice, give it a chance; you'll probably like what you see.  Just make sure you stay tuned after the closing credits.

Score: 4/5

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