Many years ago a friend recommended a book by William Paul Young called The Shack to me and said it would change my life. I read it once and immediately read it again. I’m not sure that it changed my life but it did open my mind to many things. I wondered how the film would get the message of the book across without feeling preachy or not come off as a Hallmark TV Movie. It ran a fine line but I think Stuart Halzeldine made it work on the big screen.
The Phillips family is a typical suburban family which consists of a mom and dad, two teenagers who aren’t yet embarrassed by their parents, and a young daughter who is just adorable. They go to church on Sundays, say their prayers at night, and their mom’s name for GOD is Papa. All is right with the world.
One weekend the family is going on one of their many camping trips but this time mom can’t come along. It is a great weekend until it is time to go and the youngest daughter Missy (Amelie Eve) is kidnapped and murdered in an old shack. The family is turned upside down. The father Mack (Sam Worthington) has lost all life, faith, and the ability to love. One snowy day Mack receives a note inviting him to the shack and it is signed Papa. Is it a cruel joke? Could it possibly be true? Mack is compelled to find out and heads to the shack to meet his destiny.
Once he gets there he meets a black woman (Octavia Spencer) who looks familiar to him and she tells him she is Papa. She works him through his anger with GOD. He meets a young man (Avraham Aviv Alush) a carpenter named Jesus who speaks with him, one guy to another. Sarayu (Sumire Matsubara) is the spirit that helps him find peace. All three help to open the door to Mack’s emotional journey of working through the guilt, grief, anger, forgiveness, awareness and love.
Yeah, I know, it sounds cheesy and in a way it is but you must not look at this film as a religious one but one of spirit and life. Sometimes the most heaviest and horrible situations have hard but simple solutions.
SPEND THE MONEY and see THE SHACK in the theaters. Go in with an open mind and really listen to the conversations.
Until next time keep your EYE to the sky!