The Gospel story of the prodigal son is one that many have heard throughout the years and might feel drawn towards it. After all, don’t we all crave God’s unconditional love and knowing that He is always waiting for us regardless of how terribly we fall? It is from that story that film makers have a new retelling in the film, Confession of a Prodigal Son, which I was happy to have the chance to review in our home to share with my readers.
About Confessions of a Prodigal Son
Confessions of a Prodigal Son is a modern-day retelling of the Prodigal Son story that Jesus famously told.
It is a coming-of-age tale following Sean (Nathan Clarkson) as he rebels and leaves his home, family and father (Kevin Sorbo) to figure out life on his own.
Two years later–while still on the journey to find life’s answers–Sean suddenly finds himself questioning everything he thought he knew as he is confronted by a professor (Darwin Harris) who challenges Sean to see his life as a story; a best friend (Azel James) walking a dangerous path; and a strong and beautiful young woman (Rachael Lee) who is on her own journey to answers. Each one of these elements causes Sean to greater examine the choices he is making.
The story is one of drama, laughter, relationships, faith, and redemption, ultimately asking the question “Can broken stories have happy endings?”
The film is presented by Lighting Dark in association with Slingstone Productions and will release onto DVD (affiliate) on Tuesday, March 24, 2015.
Our Thoughts on Confessions of a Prodigal Son
I’ll admit that only my 5 year old sat through the entire movie with me. While I’d like to think my teens had more pressing things to do on a Saturday night, I know that they also are more drawn to movies with a bit more flash to them. My eldest son actually mentioned that the party scenes in this film didn’t make it seem like a fun party even if the director was showing a group of college aged students drinking and occasionally popping pills. I guess the ‘flash’ that was missing from those scenes was strobe lights with music.
This film IS a lower budget film and as such it has a less polished feel when it comes to cinematography, etc. However, the script does a good job in conveying how a modern day college student, Sean, could be that prodigal son. And, as the title suggests, the viewer gets to hear the story from the viewpoint of the prodigal son. This is done through a voice-over as Sean is ‘writing’ his life story for a sophomore class assignment and reflecting upon where he has been and where he is going.
Unlike some recent faith based films, this one is not overly preachy when presenting itself, although there is mention of Christ and faith throughout the film. Sometimes that mention is Sean ranting about how he doesn’t want to follow any one’s rules as they hinder them. Other times, you see people in his life embracing their faith through actions and words.
As a mom of teenaged boys, I found Sean’s desire to set his own path to really jump out at me. While my boys are mostly respectful of house rules and expectations, I can already see a glimmer of rebellion as they seek to find their own voice apart from our family. I remember from my own college experience that there are people just like Sean who embrace a party lifestyle once away from their parents’ home just to find that the shunning of responsibility has a negative end result. I just pray that they won’t need to stray very far or suffer incredible set backs as illustrated in this story.
In the end, the movie viewer will see that once Sean realizes he isn’t the sole architect of his life and that not following rules has its own consequences, he finally finds acceptance and can truly grow in relationship with those who care about him. Ultimately, he comes to appreciate that rules (including those God asks us to abide) are not there to hinder our personal growth, but rather allow us TO grow in a safer environment.
Beyond the retelling of the prodigal son in this movie, what really struck me is the idea that each of us have a story to tell and do so through our lives. And, it is through the choices we make that we determine what our story will be.
What’s the last faith based film you watched?
Is the Prodigal Son story a favorite from the Gospels?