A new faith-based movie called The Song will open in theaters around the country tomorrow. I have watched this film twice to make sure I am giving an accurate and fair review. Two others from our ministry have watched it once, and we have discussed the film together. This review is a composite of our thoughts.
The Song is a modern parable about a man searching for love and meaning that very loosely parallels the life of Solomon and a small portion of the life of King David. Verses from the Song of Solomon and especially from Ecclesiastes are quoted throughout the movie.
The plot, which is often music-driven, is the story of Jed King (Alan Powell), the son of the late country singer David King. Jed tries to make it as a singer/songwriter in his own right, but to no avail. A man of faith, he meets, falls in love with, and marries Rose Jordan (Ali Faulkner), a sweet, beautiful woman of faith. He promises her dad never to be a moral failure like his father.
With his love for Rose, Jed finds new inspiration and finally becomes a huge success. Soon fame, fortune, and a pretty vixen of a woman named Shelby Bale (Caitlin Nicol-Thomas) change all that. Jed lives for pleasure and forgets God. I will not spoil the movie for potential viewers by revealing any more. However, I will tell you that this is a story of redemption, and it ends well. Be sure to stay for the credits, because one of the best scenes follows.
Overall, The Song has a great and powerful message. The cinematography and scenery are lush, the acting flawless, and the music professionally performed (except when Powell belts it out a few times and drifts off key).
The producers seem proud to call the film a sexy Christian film. As a book of the Bible, the Song of Solomon has the same reputation. It presents the pure, beautiful relationship of a man and his bride – symbolic of the pure, intimate relationship of Christ to His church.
In The Song, the love relationship between the husband and wife at the beginning is pure and good. I like the way the film portrays pure love as exciting and beautiful, just as God planned it. There is no nudity, but the suggestion of it in one scene combined with the physical closeness of the actors may be a little over the top and could make some viewers, both young and old, uncomfortable.
From there on, The Song presents a great message polluted by content (drugs, alcohol, illicit sex, and a small amount of violence). I realize some content is necessary to portray, in a way our culture will understand, the ugliness of sin and the devastation it causes. However, the movie spends too much time on sin and not enough on redemption. The film does a great job of portraying the reality of sin as ugly, dirty, and distasteful – even sickening – but a little of that goes a long way.
The producers of The Song tout it as a movie that will save marriages, but I don’t see how that will happen with the movie alone. For instance, a person could decide to try living like Jed did, knowing that Jed found it empty, but decide he (or she) could receive forgiveness in the end if sin didn’t satisfy. I don’t think the movie presents this idea, but someone determined to live for self could come to the conclusion “I can do what I want and ask for forgiveness later.”
On the other hand, a person in the middle of an extramarital relationship might feel convicted by the movie and repent. I am a firm believer in the power of Scripture to change lives, and I know the verses quoted throughout the film will not return void but will accomplish what God desires (Isaiah 55:11). Extra study materials are available to supplement the film for couples and church groups. I haven’t seen the materials, but I assume they would help couples understand biblical marriage and apply God’s principles to their relationships.
Compared to secular movies, television, and other entertainment, the portrayal of sin in The Song is very tame. However, as Christians, we dare not compare ourselves or our works with those of the world. Our standard is the Word of God, and God’s call to holiness should be our inspiration.
What does God’s Word say about exposure to evil? One verse that immediately comes to mind is Psalm 101:3-4:
I will set no worthless thing before my eyes; I hate the work of those who fall away; It shall not fasten its grip on me.
A perverse heart shall depart from me; I will know no evil (NASB).
Also Ephesians 5:11–13:
Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them; for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret. But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light (NASB).
If we are not even to speak of the evil things done in secret, should we be watching them on screen? Things we see with our eyes stick with us longer than things we hear. Some scenes from life and film never fade from our memories. If something is set to music, it’s seared into our brains – the reason most of us can sing along with commercials or can learn the words to songs we hear without trying to memorize them.
So how do we find a balance and where do we draw the line when faith-based entertainment portrays evil in a realistic way? Heritage of Truth believes that, although The Song has a fantastic, biblical message, it carries the portrayal of evil a bit too far and spends too much time on it. If that portrayal had been toned down, we could have recommended this movie without reservation. We believe The Song will have a good impact on many people, but we must warn our audience about the content. I definitely would not recommend it for immature teens or children.
The main message of The Song is that true redemption and freedom doesn’t come from fame, fortune, or self-indulgence. It comes only through accepting the love and hope that God has given us in His only Son Jesus Christ. We pray that this is the message moviegoers receive from The Song.
Jeanne Dennis, HeritageofTruth.com