BodEquip Ministries - Equipping the Body of Christ to Live Abundantly.

Movie Review: Bella

Quick Plot Summary: A rising soccer star that through tragedy no longer plays and a waitress that's "alone in the world" have their lives converge and they are able to help each other.

Rating: Great
Suggested Ages: 12+

Definitely a unique movie, that's for sure. Bella is a very hard movie to describe without giving away too much, and indeed the plot summary above is VERY inadequate. This is one movie you just kind of have to see to even have a clue what it's about.

What I can say is that it has the following as key themes:

- How our lives can change in a moment and take us radically different directions than we planned
- Very strong pro-life, pro-adoption message. A real-life showcase of the struggle of a woman contemplating abortion.
- The importance of truly caring about and engaging with the people all around us - i.e. finding out their "story"
- Reaching beyond your own pain to help someone else (and in the process, helping yourself)
- The importance of family and faith
- A positive view of latino culture without many of the standard stereotypes found in other movies

This is an emotionally moving, ultimately uplifting film that has a very "real" quality to it, which is fairly rare. It was filmed/produced in a "modern" way so there's more jerky camera movement, etc. which did grate on me a tad (i.e. it got old quick), but did contribute to the "real" quality and help draw you into the story (and thus the characters). The acting was quite impressive!

This is not a "preachy" movie with words so much as it preaches with its story. It allows you to see and discover the message yourself as it plays out. While not "overtly Christian", many of its key themes as shown above are ones that are very supportive and positive for Christians.

As for things that concerned me: Like a number of films, this one has an undercurrent that God wants or causes the hurt and pain we see in our world. In this film's case though, it's a pretty mild undercurrent except for 1 brief scene where a blind guy is holding a sign that says something like "God made me blind, now I can truly see." (which while an interesting statement, is quite unfair to assume God's the one that actively caused the blindness/wants him blind, etc.) Other than that, the only thing that really threw me off a bit with this film is that it seemed very rushed at the end. So much so that I actually briefly wondered if I had accidentally pressed the "forward" button on my remote and skipped some scenes (I didn't). It seemed like another 5-10 minutes or so could have really helped fill in a bit more at the end. With that said, the ending still "worked" and made its point effectively.

All things considered, this is a unique movie that has a "modern" and "realistic" flavor that won't appeal to everyone, but is an engaging, positive, uplifting movie in the final analysis.

Reviewed by Christopher Long,
BodEquip Ministries

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