I have entitled this review ‘Camp (2013) – Film Review’ so as to distinguish it from another film (released in 2003) of the same name and of a different nature.
This film focuses on the central character of young Eli – a 12 year old who has had a far less than desirable life and who – after a sequence of events beyond his control – ends up in a Christian summer camp.
And yet there is so much more to this film – with a number of back stories also going on.
As usual I am going to do my best to avoid including any spoilers in this review. Which of course limits what I can write about this film. Don’t you, like me, just get so frustrated when a review tells you all there is to know about the film and leaves very little for you to experience first-hand?
Written and directed by Jacob Roebuck (also known for: Loving Lynda, Chuck and Coyote County Loser) with additional writers being cited as Johnston Moore and Kristin Wolven, this film is excellent and I would recommend it to all and especially to anyone who is either a) considering going to a Christian Summer Camp or b) working or volunteering at one. Although of course all Christian Summer Camps vary widely or so it seems to me.
A message that is clearly needed especially in this day and age and one which – through the characters portrayed in this movie – invites you the viewer to consider just how Christ can, if you will let Him, speak into your current circumstances and use your life to His glory.
It is a story of growth and love and healing and not only for our main character.
Set alongside Eli – our young and vulnerable principal character – is a secondary character who (being an adult) is much older and much more street ‘savvy’. And yet, who is just as much in need of the Lord as young Eli is
The acting – whilst I have to admit not brilliant throughout – is of a good quality and thus the characters are both plausible and inviting. And additional to the film there are a number of extra features which will not only offer am explanation of the film’s concept but also its link with the ‘Royal Family Kids’ organisation.
I liked this film a great deal. I laughed, I smiled, I grimaced and I cried. And then I watched it with my bible study group and I watched them as they were watching it and they too laughed, smiled, grimaced and cried.
And it would, I think be remiss of me not to point out that this film/movie does contain a very limited amount of scenes containing physical child abuse and reference to sexual abuse as well as some (very minor) bad language.) However, none of this is gratuitous and it is all relevant to the storyline and presenting a real portrayal.
In a world where such labels as ‘inspirational’ are bandied about far to easily and quite wrongly in this writer’s opinion, I am hesitant to apply such a label to this film. And yet it could in many ways be inspirational if you reflect on and allow it’s central message of hope to enter your heart. And let’s be real here, certainly the history and mission of Royal Family Kids – from what I know about it and on which this film is based – truly is inspirational.
As I said, I strongly recommend this film/movie to you.
Written By: Jacob Roebuck (with Johnston Moore & Kristin Wolven
Directed By: Jacob Robuck
Starring: Miles Eliot, Betsy Roth, Josh Berry.
Genre: Drama, Christian
Released: February 22nd, 2013 (USA)
Runtime: 109 mins
Age Rating: PG-13 for thematic elements, some violence, a crude gesture and brief language.
Controversial Language: Limited
Nudity and/or Sexual Content: None
Potentially Disturbing Scenes: Limited
For Faith and Ful-film-ent Rating: 8/10 Highly Recommended. ††††††††††