So I was actually planning to watch Jack Reacher, but after being led to walk up early to the cinema area before booking my tix I realised Hacksaw Ridge had just come out and the last session was minutes away. I did not regret this last minute change of plans 🙂
Sensitive content (still working out how to title this part):
- Extreme graphic scenes of blood and gore
- Some questionable language
- One innocent short suggestive sex scene
Redeeming the Arts
If you liked Mel Gibson’s Passion of the Christ, you would probably like Hacksaw Ridge as well. The film begins with a quote from the last few verses of Isaiah 40. From both trailer and this opening verse it becomes quite clear the film will be founded in very clear Christian values. And it does not disappoint. Here are some of my favourite parts:
1. Sexual Purity
It is very hard nowadays to come across any Hollywood film where love isn’t immediately followed by sex. Hacksaw Ridge beautifully outlays the struggle of Desmond Doss (protagonist) and Dorothy (his love interest) as they go through the process of courtship, possible loss (as Desmond comes near sentence to jail time) and then finally marriage AND THEN sex. The scene beautifully cuts firstly to Desmond’s ring, and then his wife approaching him in the sanctity of their shared room before falling out of view of the camera. I have to say it again… a very rare sight to see in a Hollywood film. Thank you Mel.
2. Personal Commitments
I’m sure I can hear the haters yelling at this one. “This is why I don’t wanna be a Christian. His religion caused so much grief to everyone!” Basically, Desmond makes a personal decision to never touch a firearm, and yet still joins the army as a Medic with the understanding that Medics do not need to carry weapons (as he explains that this is what he was told before signing up). He is sorely proven wrong during boot camp…
The film quite tactfully unfolds this (if we pay attention) as Desmond’s own personal commitment and not necessarily a command from scripture. Though the 6th commandment is mentioned through the movie, its important to note that the 6th commandment does not speak of “not bearing arms.” This is Desmond’s own decision which, as we find out later in the movie, was a result of him coming very close to taking the life of his father during an altercation with his mother some time before.
I very much like this distinction as it is very often something that is mixed together when people judge “the Church”. Desmond did not need to make this rule for himself in order to “comply to scripture” but he chose to anyway because he knew himself. Sometimes churches may recommend Christians behave in a certain way to better be obedient to Christ command, but then we mix these “recommended rules” with religion itself and then yell at how illogical it all is.
3. Endurance & Prayer
One of the clutching moments in the film was when Desmond decided to stay back on Hacksaw Ridge and continue to rescue his fellow soldiers while the navy continued to shell the area (I still don’t get how he didn’t get hit by any of those bombs, besides an act of Providence!). After lowering each body down the ridge, using only a rope and his own physical strength, he would pray “One more Lord! Help me get one more…!”
It was a beautiful example of what endurance and prayer can achieve. In a world growing faster and faster, it is almost natural to expect many desires to be quenched instantly at a few clicks or button taps or swipes on a screen. Yet, there are still things that can only truely be achieved through consistent endurance. What assists us in those times? Coming to the Lord in prayer (Phil. 4:6). Like waiting for the right life partner, pursuing careers, learning a new skill, developing that six pack! Its great to know that while we do all we can in the natural, God is also there to help with the rest (1 Cor. 3:6).
There are so many more wonderful ideas and concepts in this movie. I hope these few points help spark more interesting conversations with you family and friends. Any thoughts you liked (or even disliked!) please let me know in the comments below.