Posted by: Phoebe | November 9, 2008

Fireproof, the Movie

Hello friends, I have been gone about two months, busy with a piano competition. It was a very profitable experience, but I lost, so now instead of progressing to the next level and having to continue with the intensity,  I have more free time! I hope to return to this blog a bit more now, and post something my brother Samuel wrote about “American Idolatry.” I also hope to post some thoughts on the Sabbath. I just need to remember that a blog post is not supposed to be complicated. Fie, perfectionism!

For now, here are my thoughts on the movie Fireproof. I was very impressed with the progress the Kendrick brothers’ productions have made. If you didn’t know, this group is an independent filmmaking group started out of a church in Georgia. They have made two movies so far and their stories have always been touching and impacting. Their production has been good but amateur. Now along comes Fireproof. What a movie! In quality, it has far outpaced the other two, even as Facing the Giants outpaced its predecessor Flywheel.  In this movie, you can expect to see

  • The main actors show a tremendous range of emotions and genuine, (not canned or fakey), acting.
  • A broken marriage is shown to be both partners’ fault, traced back to arrogance and sin that dwells in both their hearts.
  • Some truly suspenseful moments as Caleb, the main character, does his work as a fireman.
  • Really funny, backyard humor. Not complex comedy scenes like you find in Hollywood movies. Not bathroom humor or innuendo. Just funny, everyday-life humor.
  • A portrayal of conversion that is clear, yet tasteful. The way Jesus Christ is integrated into the story might make non-Christians uncomfortable, but that is because it is true. Conversion is shown to be a serious act of personal decision, not something done on a whim or out of fear.

Do not expect Fireproof to be a Hollywood-style movie. Expect something much more true to life and yet much more miraculous than the stories Hollywood provides.

I will not post a detailed review of the plot or story, which you can read at PluggedIn Online. The main point is that this is a story of redemption: the redemption of a marriage, but more importantly the redemption of two human souls. Caleb, the husband, struggles through many barriers to win back his wife’s heart, and in the process realizes that she is not the problem in his marriage. She may have contributed to his bitterness, but the real problem is the sin in his own heart.

  • He first has to decide he’s willing to try to save his marriage, and that he’s willing to listen to the Godly counselors in his life, his father and co-worker.
  • He then has to become broken and realize that he doesn’t love his wife, and that he can’t love her without Jesus Christ’s help.
  • Then he has to choose to genuinely love her, with God’s help, day-by-day as she rejects him.
  • He kills his computer in order to flee from his addiction to pornography.
  • He makes other decisions to love his wife as he would love his own body, by making sacrifices for her family.
  • He defends his marriage against someone who is trying to steal his wife’s heart.
  • Finally, he apologizes to her. He confesses to her with sorrow and tears how much he has hurt her, and how sorry he is for that. She later answers him with a similar response.

That apology is something Hollywood rarely would deign to portray. When Hollywood people sin against others and then are reconciled, they may recognize “I made a mistake.” They may mumble “sorry” and embrace their loved one. They may perform some symbolic action of sorrow. But to get down on your knees, and detail your own sins, and plead for forgiveness, forgiveness undeserved? How gauche! How rare. How real and how needed.

The image of a broken marriage is frightening and sad. The actors portray well a web of bitterness and mistrust that pulls them down and suffocates their marriage. In contrast, the efforts Caleb makes to learn to love, and the forgiveness and similar repentance that Catherine shows, are beautiful and miraculous. It is clear that this redemption is only and all from God. A God who loves us even when we reject him. Go see Fireproof. You will not regret it.


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