April 08, 2012

Salvation Boulevard

As part of my goal to see previous films of the cast of The Hunger Games, I decided to watch Salvation Boulevard, wherein Isabelle Fuhrman, who played Clove in The Hunger Games, had a role. I was choosing between Orphan or this, but decided on this cause I had no idea what the film was about.

It's a film revolving around religion which is always a touchy subject. I won't defend or attack religion. We all have different perceptions regarding the matter and I don't think it's relevant in discussing this film. I will just talk about the film which happened to revolve around this seemingly sensitive topic. In this film, Pierce Brosnan's character is a pastor who kills an atheist professor accidentally, and tried to cover it up by making it look like it's a suicide. (That's basically the premise of the film.) There are a lot of things we can examine in this premise. I came up with several, and to be honest, I don't know if I got it right.

I definitely liked it much more than I thought I would. I was not familiar with the movie at all so I had no expectations but it was a really fun movie. It had an all-star cast, which made it a lot more fun because the characters they were playing were very different to the ones we're used to seeing them play. I don't think it would appeal to some people for the simple reason that it's about religion. If you're not overly sensitive about the matter of religion, you might like it.

Let's start with Pierce Brosnan. I don't know about any of you, but I'm used to seeing him kick ass in movies, not spreading the word of God. He's James Bond! Of course he has played a lot of different characters, but for some reason I found it weird to see him praising God. That's probably cause my image of him immediately reads James Bond. He does religious very well though so I could live with that.

Jennifer stars as an overly religious lady to a point that her faith in God, and in the pastor, consumed her. She played it very well, I think. I don't know if its supposed to come off this way, but while watching the movie, I kept thinking her character was a psychopath (if she wasn't, she's pretty damn close to it). Maybe it is her own flavor or spin of how religious women act and think or an exaggeration of how people tend to act and think. I didn't mind it at all because her character made the movie entertaining. This is my first time seeing her in a comedy film, and I think she was hilarious.

Greg Kinnear played the protagonist in the film - the witness being attacked for accusing the pastor of killing the professor. The character seemed confused throughout the film, as he should, but I found that funny as well. He probably represents those who are in between, people who believes but are not exactly highly religious. Maybe he represents those who are confused. Just maybe.

Isabelle Fuhrman's character was probably my favorite, and not just because she's Isabelle Fuhrman. Her character showed skepticism and rationality against the so-called "blind faith." She cites scientific evidences to question the authenticity of the Bible stories, and ask them directly to the religious people. She's this witty and charming girl, and her character was very appealing. She's the anti-Gwen(Jennifer Connelly's character), and that balance read brilliance to me. She was able to question the religious subtly, which I think a lot of people do now. Its realistic but downright amusing.

I don't know what to make of this film. It's funny, dramatic, and seems like an attack on the Church. I'm not sure. When I watched the movie, the things I got were 1) religious leaders are imperfect 2) religious leaders can be involved in a massive deception and 3) religion can break relationships. I wish I knew what it meant. I don't wanna claim that I do. To be honest, even if I did get it right, I'm not sure what to say next as well. If it does attack religion, then I guess I'll have to commend it for tackling a very sensitive issue in today's society. Maybe's its a one big social commentary on religion. (I'm just voicing out possibilities.)

There were so many religious undertones that I could no longer sense whether it's meant to support religion, or if they're just making a huge parody of religion. I'm thinking the latter mainly because of the impressions I got while watching it. It's not an explicit attack on the Church, but maybe more on the people who let go of rationality because of their faith. Maybe what the film is trying to say is that we all have our beliefs and religious views, but there are also truths to be recognized and occurrences that call for a rational thinking.

All I can say is that it was highly entertaining for me. It's not your typical movie for sure but I guess it wouldn't hurt to sit through it. I haven't seen reviews or opinions on the film. I'm sure some would bash the film for several reasons; but I don't even care. I think this film has entertainment value (as I've said before, I am easily amused) and haters should at least recognize that.

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