To Save a Life is a 2009 religious drama film directed by Brian Baughn. It stars Randy Wayne, Deja Kreutzberg, Joshua Weigel, and many talented and amazing actors. It's not a very popular film, which is probably the reason why I haven't heard of it until now. It was a touching film dealing with current problems today.
There's a high probability that I never would have seen this movie if it wasn't for an e-mail I got requesting for a review of this movie. To tell you the truth, I wasn't all that convinced about it at first. After doing a few research about it, I went ahead and decided to watch it anyway. Now let me thank him for requesting it. It was good. It was not a groundbreaking movie but it had a certain level of depth. There was a direction to it and that in itself must be appreciated.
Suicide in itself is always a touchy subject, even more when it's teen suicide; and that's how the movie started. Jake, the protagonist, was attending the funeral of a friend who committed suicide, a friend his turned his back to. It narrated how the friendship was formed, and how the friendship was broken. The incident caused Jake to doubt a lot of things, to question anything and everything. Through this, he slowly transformed himself, transforming others as well along the way.
I think this movie could be categorized as a teen movie as well. Sure it's not the usual "teen movie" filled with smiles and romance and whatnot. I think this is even better because it's genuine as it tackles a lot of things kids these days go through, some of it I'd seen myself. It had suicide, desire for popularity, drugs, depression, pregnancy, divorced parents, desire to be part of something that mattered. Yup, the people who made this movie threw in a lot, and tried to work every possible angle in all these issues. As you can see, there's a wide scope of issues being tackled, from serious ones like suicide and depression, to relatively minute ones like desire for popularity. It did feel like it was one after the other, and at times it felt a little forced, but only in a few scenes. For the most part, they managed to keep it coherent and the story flowed.
I really liked everyone involved in this movie. From the stars to the supporting cast, everyone was really impressive, minus one scene that felt a little awkward for me. Randy Wayne fully embodied the persona of the popular kid who wants to things right, of course, Jake (Wayne) had the right motivation and experiences to do so. I'm glad that he's working on more projects so we should all be seeing a lot more of him soon. The ladies of the movie were just as brilliant. Deja Kreutzberg as Amy and Kim Hidalgo as Andrea, although playing very opposite characters, were equally superb. I got caught up in the relationship of Jake's parents, not because my parents went through something similar. It was more of David Starzyk and Laura Black really owning their characters and acting the hell out of it that I got caught up and felt sorry for them in a way. I guess that's how you know the actors are doing a fantastic job, when they start reeling you into the story and grabs you. My favorite character though was Chris, played by Joshua Weigel. Everything about the character Chris, and the way Weigel acted the part out were perfect.
It's a shame some critics did not particularly like the movie. Like I said, this movie was not revolutionary, but it was a really good film. Maybe I'm saying this because the issue is very current and very apparent. It's like an educational video I guess. People need to learn a lot more on these issues. I read that this movie got a PG 13 rating, which is understandable, but I don't think there are still people fooling themselves believing that these things aren't happening - that kids aren't experimenting with all sorts of things. Unfortunately, these things are now part of our society. The right thing to do is to guide them (well since I'm still part of the youth, guide us) - teach us about it and not pretend that it's not happening. I do think this movie can help in its own little way. After all, the characters involved are mostly teens. It had a message, and the movie delivered it. This can serve as an inspiration for people to save a life.
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