Benz Eye View: I’m Not Ashamed

im_not_ashamed_poster
I’m Not Ashamed

Pros:

1.) I really like how the movie depicts Rachel Scott as a Born-Again Christian.  It did a great job of how she struggles to be a Christian, but ends up concentrating her own wants instead of the others’ needs.  As a result, she becomes influenced by her non-Christian friends instead of vice-versa.  The fact they actually noted how hard it is for a new Christian to actually grow in Christ is pretty refreshing.

2.) They are gutsy enough to show (or at least, imply) some inappropriate moments in the movie.  It may not be a big deal for regular movies, but for Christian movies, this is a nice change of pace.  I do not expect sex scenes in Christian movies (because I do not want them to go THAT far), but at least they did something that has some impact for the movie, and not because they need to get more people to watch their movie for inappropriate reasons.

3.) This should not be a surprise, but just in case.  (SPOILERS)  When the movie reaches the part where Rachel is killed by the shooters of the Columbine massacre, it has a big impact.  The aftermath of her death actually does a great jobof how much impact she has on the people in Columbine High School.  It is a little messed up that it does not really concentrate on the other victims, but at least the movie points out that the main focus is Rachel Scott.  The scene is very emotional, and it probably gives a big tribute to Rachel Scott herself…  (END SPOILERS)

 

Cons: 

1.) …I just wish the emotional impact is a little stronger.  Do not get me wrong.  Rachel Scott is a nice character with a good amount of flaws, but her interaction with most of the characters in the school is a little weak.  Other than three characters (one of them is not even from Columbine High School), the movie does not really spend much time with Rachel reaching out to others in pain.  As a result, the scenes where these people get better are forced, mainly because there are a bit too many of them to follow (but you may know them through their stereotypes).

2.) If you are not a fan of teenage angst and coming-of-age cliches, prepare to have plenty of them.  Since this is in high school, I knew this was coming, but this is a fair warning for those who are not big fans (like me).

3.) I might as well cover this since this movie involves the Columbine massacre, but I am not a fan of the portrayal of the Columbine shooters, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold.  They portray them as unfeeling teenagers who think killing is cool, because survival of the fittest.  Their starting point is that they are made fun of by other teenagers (which there is only one scene), and the two swear to kill them.  Since this movie is about Rachel Scott, the two shooters barely get any screen time, and so they manage to get their guns and bombs without any explanation (like where are their parents?).  The only good thing I see in this is that the two are pretty much Rachel’s failures.  If she had reached out to them sooner, the massacre may not have happened.  Also, the foreshadowing of the Columbine massacre is REALLY not subtle.  It is not because of the scenes with the shooters, but with scenes with Rachel drawing a picture of thirteen tears, and how she feels that she is not going to college for some reason (I do not care if this actually happened, it is not subtle).

 

Overall: 

The 1999 Columbine High School Massacre was the deadliest high school shooting in US history.  I was only a 1st grade boy when that happened, and I did not even learn about it until the rise of the Internet, and when the Virginia Tech massacre occurred.  When I heard there was going to be a Christian movie about one of the victims of Columbine, I thought, “Oh no.  Do not tell me that they are going to be preachy about this stuff during the Columbine massacre of all things.”  After watching the movie, I think the Christian movie industry are learning.  Is it a fantastic movie?  Not by a long shot.  They still have some Christian cliches (i.e. they are still a bit preachy), but I found this movie to be OK.  There are going to be  few things that some people are not going to like (i.e. the Columbine shooters’ portrayal, and the one thing about Rachel Scott that did not actually happen in the movie), and I completely understand.  However, I am willing to say that this Christian movie is actually a good watch, but with some problems mixed in. Everyone (especially Christians) should watch this, but do not expect it to be a masterpiece, and you may not like everything that is shown on-screen.  While it may not be the best tribute to the victims of Columbine, it at least has its heart in the right place.

5/10

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