If I asked you to name a courageous man in India, what would be your answer? “William Carey!”, someone might say reading about his pioneering missionary work in India. Maybe Gandhi, given his non-deterrent and determinant spirit in his struggle for Indian freedom. Or even Anna Hazare for his single-handed manhandling of the UPA government. Some might even argue with me for my gender insensitivity when calling out for the “courageous”. Often we look up to towering heroes who’ve moved mountains economically, politically or socially and call them courageous, but little do we think of men who faithfully lead their families in the way of righteousness as courageous. Don’t get the idea? Then you need to watch the movie Courageous.
I waited almost year to watch this movie for two reasons: one -their previous movie Fireproof was a box-office hit, and their production this time had to be better. Two -God was dealing with our family habits, lifestyle, ambitions and purposes and this movie was in my thinking, an icing on that cake. And it turned out to be exactly that.
Why watch Courageous?
Courageous is a movie about manhood. We are comfortably living in a crisis which some of us are slothful enough not to recognize. Look around you. Why do you see poor women work their homes and yours for a pittance? Because their drunkard men have absolved themselves of the responsibility of caring for their families. When did India start seeing so many gays and lesbians? Since the time their fathers stopped loving them the right way. Why is the traffic cop, the late-night auto-driver, the bus conductor or the pastor in your next door church a woman? Because men have torn down the femininity of women by being either selfish or just plain stupid. As of last year, American Indian teens are the most drug-abused community amongst other teens and lost fatherhood is one of the causes of such failing children. As the sheriff in the movie admits “…when a father is absent kids are 5 times more likely to commit suicide and abuse drugs, 20 times more likely to end up in prison”. It is in India that a 13 year old maid can be house-arrested by a wealthy family because her father-figure couldn’t care to keep her as his daughter. And it’s our country that can tolerate 70% of its married women undergoing domestic violence. The Biblical assessment of these collective problems is not underestimated womanhood but underplayed manhood ( Isa 3:1-5;12 ). This movie will be an eye-opener for anyone who wants to understand God’s design for manhood specifically in the context of a family.
Some scenes are great to watch and absorb over and over. Like, the date night that Nathan has with his 15 year old daughter to secure her trust and heart before he gives her over to another man. Or the scene when Javi walks away from home looking for another job just when he lost one, showing his commitment to care for his family. Humor is never missing from their productions and this one has its fair share of humor especially in scenes where the Hispanic family -Javi and Carmen appear or the “Love you” syndrome of Adams. The movie unashamedly proclaims the Gospel, and that’s good news. The last scene was inspiring, although if it were an Indian movie, that scene alone would have run into a good 15 minutes.
Compared to their last production, this movie was slower, and a bit more depressing one I feel. Unlike Facing the Giants I wasn’t gripped to watch the next scene – often you’ll find yourself shuffling out during the movie to check on your work. The music scores were limited and a lot of emotionally moving scenes seemed drab without an accompanying score.
Soch ka bhoj
This is a great movie for the whole family -it will inspire you, and if you haven’t yet picked up your Bible to study about the topic of fatherhood, it will make you think. However, a word of caution: watching courageous won’t make you courageous. Let’s not buy into the consumeristic myth that movies such as these somehow make you do the right things. This movie may edify you, but it won’t sanctify you. Only the word of God will. So don’t go away from the movie all pumped up and thinking that from now on you’re going to do it right -you won’t. What this can do is point you to the Scriptures so that you can revisit your role, your life and start the process of building your family on scriptural ground, if you haven’t begun that yet. As the Scriptures shape your thinking and your life, you will see that being the man that God wants you to be will indeed demand that you be courageous!
This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. ~ Josh 1:8,9
White Horse Inn: a slightly controversial review, but straight out of the horse’s mouth. May contain spoilers.
Unveiled Wife: a wife’s perspective on the movie