A few weekends ago I went to see The Shack staring Sam Worthington as Mack, Octavia Spencer as Papa, and Tim McGraw as himself. When I first saw the previews (click HERE to see the trailer) I thought, “Nope, there is no way I am seeing this movie.” The reason? I thought it was just another movie like Collateral Beauty that came out at the end of 2016 starring Will Smith. I never saw that movie because I heard that it had bad reviews so I just skipped it. So with that mentality why would I ever go see another movie just like it with a different cast? Well, my friend Monica convinced me to go see it.
Monica is someone who I tend to see movies with and for the most part we agree on the types of movies we enjoy and our thoughts following movies tend to be similar. When I told her I didn’t want to see this movie and why she actually laughed a little. She explained that The Shack was nothing like the other movie and it was actually based off a book. As someone who truly enjoys reading and movie adaptions of books she had me intrigued. Usually I prefer to read a book and then see a movie, but I have a few other books on my list right now. Monica then explained that this movie had to do with a tragedy and it followed a man’s journey of dealing with grief and his relationship with God. That was all I needed to hear to give this movie a chance. I am a young woman of God who struggles with my relationship with him, but that’s human. Knowing that in some way I might be able to relate to the man in the movie made me excited to see it.
If you hadn’t figured it out yet, this is a movie about faith and God. However, it is also about being loss and struggling with the pain and heartache one experiences in life, and learning how to grow, move on, and let go of the past. All lessons I believe, religious or not, we could all remember and use some guidance on. Now, down to the movie itself. If you like a slow but steady movie with a great message this is a movie I would recommend to you! However, if you are someone who needs action and movement going on the whole time, this would probably not be a movie you would enjoy. Though the movie moved at a slower pace than some movies, I think the timing was perfect for this movie and its contents. There are big lessons to be learned throughout the movie, for Mack (Sam Worthington) and for the viewer. Had the movie been rushed along, it wouldn’t have been as authentic and I think the viewers would have been lost.
Speaking of the big lessons throughout the movie, there were so many times throughout the movie that I wished I was at home watching it so I could pause it and jot down notes. But as I was at the movie theater, I could not do that. There were a few lessons or take-a-ways from the movie that I do remember that I think are worth noting:
- Everyone struggles with tragedy and loss in different ways.
- We are not the judge and jury, we need to stay off our high horses.
- Though heartache and pain can come growth, happiness, and faith.
There was a line in the movie that really struck out to me that luckily I did remember and it was my favorite from the movie. The line is, “When all you see is your pain you lose sight of me” spoken by Papa or God. This was so overwhelming for me, because it is so true! I think it’s something that we all as flawed human beings experience. We get so wrapped up in ourselves and what we are dealing with that we miss out on God and the big picture he has for us.
There were two settings in the movie; the shack and then everywhere else aka the “real world”. The real world is where tragedy truck Mack and his family. This setting was colder and on the darker side of things when it came to lighting and colors used. The shack, served as a place for Mack to truly evolve and move on, it’s where he meet God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. The shack, for most of the movie was a very vibrant, visually appealing place that was filled with warmth and cheerfulness. I found the colors used in the shack setting to be very comforting and uplifting. Which was a surprise to some extent because when I found myself crying it was when Mack was in or near the shack.
The story line is heartbreaking, the characters experience a tragedy I hope to never experience. However, we will all experience some form of tragedy in our lifetimes and the lessons that this movie brings to light I found to be powerful and transferable to many of life’s situations. If you intend to watch this movie, bring Kleenex, you will probably need it, and just be ready and open to absorb the movie for all it has to offer.