Starring Alan Autry, David Hart, Kimberley Autry
Heritage Home Entertainment, 2010
Reviewed by Dave Thomas, Minister with Tallebudgera Uniting Church and Chaplain at Tallebudgera State School.
I enjoyed this movie.
The title caught my attention.
There is much to like about its presentation and message, although unfortunately I am not convinced it will have wide appeal across all generations.
Forgiven is a western set in the late 1800s so immediately some of you have no doubt tuned out.
However, I think it is worth coping with the somewhat archaic setting and see beyond the basic scenes depicting ‘the old ways’ to the underlying message that became quite clear as the plot wove itself into the different characters and, through them, into our living room.
The script and forethought evident in this production is worthy of one’s time and reflection.
The story line is simple and easy to follow while still offering sufficient intrigue to keep one interested.
Strangely for me at least, this movie did not focus on the desire to, or need for, one to forgive another, and yet the name forgiven is very apt.
The opening scene is almost eerie with only one person speaking in a two person dialogue.
As the stranger seemingly ignores the one talking to him, gets on his horse and heads out of sight I was left wondering how such a strange beginning would unfold.
But unfold it did.
Some of the thought provoking gems were coming to terms with bad things happening to us which are out of our control, being taught by children (despite their impulsiveness and lack of understanding), understanding what value means as distinct from wealth, the importance of relationships, that God chooses his ways to communicate with us, that humans are not always good at recognising God’s voice, and that God will break through and, when he does, the future is met with a change of character and focus on life.
The final scene leaves its viewers with the uniting of three very different individuals coming together with the realisation that true love casts out hate and the God-given capacity to forgive is far richer than all the money the world can offer.
If you enjoy a good story, a worthwhile message of hope and restoration with some pretty handy gun-handling skills thrown in, then this movie just might be for you. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but then I don’t drink tea.