Song, The
PG-13
Entertainment: +4
Acceptability: +3

Alan Powell, Ali Faulkner, Caitlin Nicol-Thomas. Faith-based musical drama. Written & directed by Richard Ramsey.

FILM SYNOPSIS: Alan Powell, son of Fort Myers pastor Richard Powell, is receiving rave reviews for his performance as Jed King in The Song. Already no stranger to success, Alan is in the Christian band “Anthem Lights”—an Internet sensation with YouTube videos viewed more than 30 million times. But this was his first acting role and, according to director Richie Ramsey, he pulls off a dynamic range. A music-driven romantic drama, The Song shows Jed King’s search for things we all long for: significance and meaning.

The film is produced by Kyle Idleman, pastor of Southeast Christian Church and City on a Hill. Kyle believes it’s time to “take back” the conversation on love, sex, and marriage from the worldly way they’re usually treated and instead “awaken love” the way God intended.  A full line of resources is available to help accomplish the film’s goal, which is to strengthen marriage.

PREVIEW REVIEW: The updating of biblical parables takes a savvy touch by anyone attempting to transfer them to the motion picture. Few know how to present the updated stories without beating you over the head with the similarities or their messages. After seeing countless renditions of the prodigal son’s hard knocks/life lessons treated with all the subtlety of a Joe Biden speech, I was leery of a film that modernized the life of King David and his son, Solomon. I was pleasantly surprised. The last two-thirds became as good a drama as any found in the best of the sword-and-sandal epics.

I say the last two-thirds as it took me that long to get over my four-day-growth-of-beard prejudice. Once the lead is introduced, he is shown with a four-day growth, which then settles into a five-day growth and stays there scene after scene, even in flashbacks. The guy doesn’t even shave for his wedding. Whenever I see facial stubble, I feel it to be an affectation, usually saying more about the actor than the part he’s playing. In my mind’s eye, I see that actor each morning having his wannabe beard trimmed by the makeup man while the actor goes over his lines. It takes me out of the scene.

Finally, as the story progresses, so does the beard. By film’s end, he resembles Joaquin Phoenix on a bender. But by this time I have overcome my beard-lite bigotry and turned a deaf ear to this guy’s singing abilities. I have to ask, can nobody in this generation color a note? Today’s singers make up for lack of tone by blasting. But that’s neither here nor there since this America’s Got Talent generation seems mesmerized by those who can blast and yodel. I guess they’d be bored with Nat King Cole or Ella Fitzgerald. To each his own.

What saves this film endeavor is the prowess of writer/director, Richard Ramsey. The filmmaker adeptly transfers Solomon’s assertions about what really matters in life, found in Ecclesiastes and Song of Solomon. Mr. Ramsey presents the sanctity of marriage both intellectually and emotionally, and never overwhelms the story with the underlining testimony. His cast reaches all the right notes (so to speak) and the crew’s technical contributions help energize the proceedings.

A moving, entertaining ode to marriage, The Song is one of the best films of the year.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Distributor: City on a Hill Productions

Summary
Crude Language: None
Obscene Language: None
Profanity: None
Violence: Marriage infidelity leads to the death of one man, who is seen having committed suicide by hanging.
Sexual Intercourse: Adultery is carefully implied rather than exploited.
Nudity: None
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: None
Drug Abuse: To show a lifestyle, we see those involved in the music industry living to excess, including the abuse of alcohol and drugs.
Other: None
Running Time: 116 minutes
Intended Audience: Older teens and up

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