I hope you enjoy this months monthly movies!
· Squid Game (Season 1)
o Story: This is show follows a group of people who are lured into playing kid's games for a sizable prize. What they don't realize is that only the winner will survive.
o Year: 2021
o Rating: R (violence/gore, sexual content, adult themes)
o Gospel Moments: On the surface this show seems like a simple horror thriller mashup, but it is much more than that. It follows the sad story of Lee Jug-jae (among others) as he struggles against a seemingly hopeless cycle of poverty, and is caught up in a game played out for the entertainment of the rich and powerful. The show's social critique hits all too close to reality, and the cast of relatable characters will keep you engaged until the end. As the story unfolds, the deceptive and destructive power of money becomes all too evident as Lee in turn learns the preciousness of human life. It brings home a truth that can all too easily slip into the background of our lives: every human is precious before God, made in His image.
o Where to Watch: Netflix
· Les Misérables
o Story: The 2012 musical adaptation of this wonderful story may not be for everyone, but I find it to be my favorite. The story–based on the book of the same name written by Victor Hugo–is brought to life by the music; the themes of law and grace, love and mercy, brought home in a powerful way. The story centers around a released convict named Jean Valjean. Unable to find work because of his branding as a former prisoner, Valjean breaks his parol, stealing expensive items from a church. Caught for the crime, he is set to go back to prison when a priest intervenes on his behalf. Valjean goes off with the once stolen goods to make a new life for himself, but Javert–an officer of the law–is determined to find Valjean and return him to prison.
o Year: 2012
o Rating: PG-13 (violence, sexual content, adult themes)
o Gospel Moments: This is a timeless story filled with gospel moments all throughout. In my opinion, the musical adaptation brings out these gospel undertones more than any other, even the book! Valjean and Javert represent two ways of life, to ways of viewing the world: one based on grace, the other based on the law. Without giving too much away, the story reveals the power of grace and the power of a life lived in gratitude for grace received. It points to the beautiful truth that all followers of Jesus are saved by grace through faith and, because of this grace, we are called into a whole new way of life, one in which we extend grace to others.
o Where to Watch: Netflix
· Band of Robbers
o Story: When two childhood friends are reunited after years apart, a series of events lead them into a search for hidden treasure.
o Year: 2015
o Rating: PG-13 (action/violence, some language)
o Gospel Moments: This movie is a fun adventure story that follows four friends on a search for hidden treasure. Along the way it asks questions about the legacy we leave behind, what it means to be a hero, and the importance of friendship. One of the lead characters isn't the best of examples, but by the end of the film he learns what it means to put others before himself. The journey of the main characters, and the overall storybook feel of the movie, gives viewers a glimpse into what looks like for the messiness of our individual stories to be caught up into the Story God is telling.
o Where to Watch: Amazon Prime
If you like these kinds of stories you should also check out my book The Bright Abyss. You can find a copy at the link here. You can also get a free download of my short story The First Encounter, a Bright Abyss story, by signing up for my email list below!