If there was one film cover which, were I asked today, “What one Christian film I would recommend for a youth group or young adults group to watch?” I would ask you to look out for, it would most definitely be this one.
It is from the film ‘Not Today’ which comes from the ‘Friends Media’ production company and which is, in the opinion of this reviewer both compelling and inspiring.
As usual I always do my best to steer clear of giving spoilers in my reviews so here is a direct quote from www.imdb.com concerning this film…
While on vacation with friends in Hyderabad, India, Caden Welles – a privileged young man with the world at his disposal – takes an unexpected turn in life after initially refusing to help a starving man and his daughter.
But I have to tell you that the film is so, so much more than the quote would give us to believe.
It is a story of fate and faith and of worth. Focusing on the fate mainly of this one child – Annika. Who, along with her father, is part of a group of people in India who are known as the ‘untouchables’ the ‘Dalits’ (which tragically and poignantly is pronounced very much like the ‘deletes’) and who – in the eyes of far too many – have lost or are devoid of all value or worth.
It looks at the way in which God speaks into and indeed through the life of what is basically a spoiled rich American kind – Caden Welles (played excellently by Cody Longo – also known for ‘The Silent Thief’) and how – through his experiences in India and having met Annika and her father – he not only finds God’s true worth in His life and the life of others but (and perhaps crucially for him) his worth in God’s eyes.
He who oppresses the poor reproaches his Maker,
But he who honors Him has mercy on the needy.
(Proverbs 14:31 NKJV)
In terms of the actors and acting in this film, as I said Cody Longo puts in an excellent performance and apart perhaps from John Schneider – who plays Luke (Caden’s step-father) no great names leap out at you from the cast list. But don’t let that fool you into thinking that you won’t therefore see some excellent performances. Because certainly that isn’t the case.
What you won’t see, however, is any Hollywood glitz and glamour. Nor will you be treated to gratuitous levels of CGI. Actually any CGI would be hard to spot in this one. And there within – within the earthy simplicity and purity of this film’s cinematography – is the film’s beauty.
Written and directed by Jon Van Dyke (not tremendously known for films of this type, it has to be said) the film is excellent. But if you are going to watch it (and I strongly recommend that you do) go beyond the film’s ending and watch the credit and back-story presented at the end. It is well worth it.
Title: Not Today
Written By: Jon Van Dyke
Directed By: Jon Van Dyke
Starring: Cody Longo, Walid Amini, Jon Schneider, Cassie Scerbo
Genre: Drama, Christian
Released: April 12th, 2013 (USA)
Runtime: 103 mins
Age Rating: PG-13 For mature thematic material
Violence: Next to None
Controversial Language: None
Nudity and/or Sexual Content: None
Potentially Disturbing Scenes: Integral to plot.
For Faith and Ful-film-ent Rating: 8/10 ††††††††††