The Song Movie Review (PG-13)

Love and Hate Relationship

On occasion I receive screener copies of films (these days they tend to be digital rather than physical) and usually these are Christian films. I have a love/hate relationship with the Christian movie industry. I want to see good Christian films but the vast majority are crap so when I received the screener for The Song I didn’t set my expectations high – I was pleasantly surprised.

The Story

The Song Movie lead actorsThe Song tells the story of Jeb King (Alan Powell), a singer/songwriter who marries Rose (Ali Faulkner), the woman of his dreams, but almost loses her as well as his young son in the pursuit of fame, fortune, and fun – the last primarily in the person of a talented and free spirited musician – Shelby Bale (Caitlin Nicol-Thomas) who joins his tour as the opening act.

The Bad

The first few minutes of the film are underwhelming and confusing. Telling the story of Jeb’s father Dave – a famous singer/songwriter in his own right – it lacks any narration and covers a large span of time – I found it downright confusing.

The acting throughout the film is solid and sometimes ventures into greatness with occasional lapses into mediocrity.

The Good

The film claims to be inspired by the Song of Solomon – it might be more accurate to say that it is based off of the life and writings of King Solomon (traditionally Ecclesiastes, Proverbs, Song of Songs, and some of the Psalms). This could be a recipe for disaster – far too many Christian films skimp on the story and are heavy-handed with the sermonizing – but not The Song.

Instead the song is a genuinely innovative take on King Solomon. It has many subtle references to the story of Solomon (one of the less subtle being that Jeb’s father is David and they both share the last name King) and maintains the overarching themes of Solomon’s life and teachings but with a freedom that allows the story to stand on its own.

There are also a number of times in which Jeb voices over the film with readings from Solomon’s teachings which specifically apply to and illuminate the relevant scene – one of the more powerful being the reading of Solomon’s warning against the adulterous woman.

Ohh, and did I mention the music is catchy? I’m not a musician, but to my untrained ear several of the songs where quite enjoyable.

Conclusion

If you are looking for a fun and thought provoking film, The Song is worth trying. It does contain mature themes (alcohol, drugs, violence) so I wouldn’t recommend it for young children (besides the intricacy of the story and allusions would go over their heads and they’d lose interest) but for teen and adult audiences it should be an enjoyable option.

If you do watch the film I’d like to know what you think of it. Did you like it? What were your favorite allusions to Solomon’s life and writings? What would you have done differently?

Ohh, and P.S., its currently available at your local Redbox…at least it is at mine!

They Like It Too

I’m not alone in my appreciation of the film. While Rotten Tomatoes find the critic rating at only 29% the audience rating indicates 91% enjoyed the film. The IMDb gives it a Metascore of 42/100 while the audience gave it a 5.6/10 and it received a 6 from Metacritic. These numbers aren’t amazing – but they aren’t horrible either.

By comparison, the recent Left Behind movie has a 2% rating from the critics on Rotten Tomatoes and a 47% audience rating. On IMDb Left Behind has a 3.1/10 from the audience, a Metascore of 12/100 and Metacritic gives it a score of 25!

Musical Artist Review: Brooke Fraser.

I have no clue how popular Brooke Fraser is. She writes songs that are oftentimes cryptic and open to interpretation with a folksy sound. But it doesn’t really matter how popular she is – b/c I like her music – so I listen to it and I want to share it with you.

Probably my favorite song by Brooke Fraser is “Hosea’s Wife” – based off of the Old Testament book of the same name:

Brooke Fraser.
Brooke Fraser.

I just spoke silence with the seek next to me
She had a heart with hesitant, halting speech
That turned to mine and asked belligerently
“What do I live for?”

I see the scars of searches everywhere I go
From hearts to wars to literature to radio
There’s a question like a shame no one will show
“What do I love for?”

We are Hosea’s wife
We are squandering this life
Using people like ladders and words like knives

[Chorus]
If we’ve eyes to see
If we’ve ears to hear
To find it in our hearts and mouths
The that saves is near
Shed that shallow skin
Come and live again
Leave all you were before
To believe is to begin
[/Chorus]

There is truth in little corners of our lives
There are hints of it in songs and children’s eyes
It’s familiar, like an ancient lullaby
What do I live for?

We are Hosea’s wife
We are squandering this life
Using bodies like money and truth like lies

[Chorus]

[Bridge]
We are more than dust
That means something
That means something
We are more than just
Blood and emotions
Inklings and notions
Atoms on oceans
[/Bridge]

She also has a song titled “C.S. Lewis Song” – now how can you not like someone who names one of their songs after C.S. Lewis? The song is based around one of Lewis’ most famous quotes, one John Piper uses frequently, which she paraphrases as, “If I find in myself desires nothing in this world can satisfy, I can only conclude that I was not made for here / If the flesh that I fight is at best only light and momentary, / then of course I’ll feel nude when to where I’m destined I’m compared.”1Lewis’ original quote (in Mere Christianity) is “If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.”

I’m also a fan of Crows + Locusts – and I imagine from the title you can get a sense of the topic – somewhat similar (dark) to Hosea’s Wife…So I won’t quote it here for you…But Brooke Fraser doesn’t sing primarily darker songs – in fact she has a number of light and joyous songs that a more general audience may find appealing.

The most popular of these on Spotify is “Something in the Water.” If there was ever a song that was meant to be danced to, this is it.2I would dance to it, if I danced. You can see the music video below:

And I’ve included the lyrics below:

Do do do do do do do do do do

I wear a demeanor made of bright pretty things
What she wears, what she wears, what she wears
Birds singing on my shoulder in harmony it seems
How they sing, how they sing, how they sing

Give me nights of solitude, red wine just a glass or two,
Reclined in a hammock on a balmy evening
I’ll pretend that it’s nothing that’s skipping my heart when I think of you
Thinking of me babe I’m crazy over you

[Chorus]
Aaah Aaah Aaah
There’s something in the water, something in the water
Aaah Aaah Aaah
There’s something in the water, that makes me love you like
[/Chorus]

I’ve got halo’s made of summer, rhythms made of spring
What she wears, what she wears, what she wears
I got crowns of words a woven each one a song to sing
Oh I sing, oh I sing, oh I sing

Give me long days in the sun,
Preludes to the nights to come
Previews of the mornings laying in all lazy
Give me something fun to do like a life of loving you
Kiss me quick now baby I’m still crazy over you

[Chorus]

Oooh oooh ooh (3x)

Give me nights of solitude, red wine just a glass or two, give me something fun to do

[Chorus 2x]

Do do do do do do do do do do