“Keeping it real”. I know hearing someone saying that phrase may sound cheesy at times to the nearby listener, especially if that someone is white like me, but it is a true life statement. One of the biggest complaints about Christianity from outsiders is “there are too many phonies and hypocrites”. I agree with that complaint, in fact Jesus said the same thing to the Pharisees too; though everyone at times is guilty of being one. Saving God is a film which keeps it real in that their approach was uniquely addressed to both Christians and agnostics. I am not an expert on this, but I would also argue this was a decent film in addressing life on the streets.
Saving God is about a Reverend who returns to his community after serving a 15 year sentence, which he has sincerely repented of ever committing. Reverend Armstrong Cain is taking over his father’s church, which rests in the middle of the ghetto, and it has certainly seen better days… The Reverend struggles through trials such as repairing the church, dealing with financial difficulties, facing the critics who aren’t very forgiving of his past, and reaching the lost souls around him. While in the restoring process, Armstrong Cain meets a lost soul named Norris who is trying to sell drugs next door. At first when meeting the Reverend, Norris isn’t very open to what is said, despite Reverend Cain saving his life. As Norris occasionally runs into the Reverend, his drug dealer Boss Blaze, his grandma, and his girlfriend Norris’ priorities begin to change. Norris is tired of feeling like he is worthless and he is also tired of being mistreated. The reopening of Armstrong’s church changes many of the lives within the ghetto.
This was intense. I was almost expecting this to be very corny, unrealistic, and stereotypical; since a lot of people don’t understand that particular culture. Although I’ll admit I am not someone who understands a lot about life in the ghetto, from what I could tell this movie orchestrated an accurate depiction; though cities vary of course. Although the movie was dark at times, I felt the mood and most of the story made sense and was threaded well into place. I enjoyed hearing some of the Reverend’s responses to his trials and critics. I also liked how they turned the word “thug” into a Christianized Acronym “True Heroes Under God”. I was surprised to see despite the ghetto setting, the characters didn’t swear. I was pleased to hear Jesus being preached, though more time could have been spent on this. The ending confused me at first, but after thinking about it, while writing this review, I was able to determine how things went as they did. Overall not a bad movie and a movie worth sharing with lost souls especially.
TCP Movie Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.