#REVIEW: “THE SHACK”
Review by Siobhán Rich for Mr. Will Wong
Director Stuart Hazeldine’s new Movie, The Shack, makes no bones about the fact that is about religion – specifically Christianity. The Movie stars Octavia Spencer, Avraham Aviv Alush and Sumire Matsubara as the personification of the Holy Trinity. Spencer’s Papa (as God as familiarly referred to) invites Mack (Sam Worthington) to a shack for the weekend to discuss matters of faith and forgiveness. In order to accept Papa into his heart, Mack must first come to terms with his painful past.
The Shack’s God does not believe in retribution or Hell and everyone, regardless of their crime, goes to Heaven. It is humanity’s job to forgive those who trespass against them if they wish to lead a fulfilled life. In Mack’s case, he must forgive not only himself but his abusive father, and the man who murdered his daughter.
Once you get past Worthington’s American accent and the awkward dialogue (“We all collect things we value, don’t we? I collect tears.”), you’re left with a Movie that seems to have been inspired by the Joan Osborne song, What if God Was One of Us. At every turn, the Movie looks at three faces of God as people with human hobbies like cooking, gardening, and, of course, carpentry. They are what we need to them to be. Indeed, Spencer is the God whom Mack needs until he needs the tough love of a father figure at which point Papa becomes Graham Greene.
Perhaps the most laudable aspect of this Movie is the multicultural nature of the cast. Although Mack’s reality is starkly Caucasian, not a single deity he meets is white.
Based on William P. Young’s New York Times bestselling Novel of the same name, The Shack explores difficult themes with mixed success. Movies with strong religious messages are not for everyone but The Shack is sure to appeal to the target audience of Christian believers.
eOne Films release THE SHACK on Friday, March 3, 2017.