Christian Review Magazine Issue 3 - March 2015 - Page 18

W hen Sam (Alex Russell, The Host) finds out that he owes over $9,000 dollars for tuition, he comes up with what he thinks is a great idea to make a quick buck – start a fake charity and scam gullible Christians out of their money. So Sam and and his three college buddies, Pierce (Miles Fisher, Bad Sports), Tyler (Sinqua Walls, Power), and Baker (Max Adler, GLEE), start “Project Get Wells Soon”. Title: BELIEVE ME Rating: Starring Alex Russell, Zachary Knighton, Johanna Braddy, Max Adler, Sinqua Walls, Miles Fisher, Christopher McDonald, Nick Offerman, Lecrae Written by: Michael B. Allen, Will Bakke Directed by: Will Bakke Genre: Drama, Comedy Running Time: 93 minutes MPAA Rating: PG-13 Production Company: Riot Studios Reviewed by: Leah St John Release Date: Out Now : DVD, Blu-ray, VOD 18 > CHRISTIAN REVIEW MAGAZINE Soon after the charity’s inception, the guys accept an offer to go on a national preaching tour in the hopes of making a hefty profit. While on tour, they have to deal with many things including keeping their fake charity a secret, a suspecting worship leader (Zachary Knighton, Happy Endings) with a HUGE ego, a love interest (Johanna Braddy, Video Game High School), and their own consciences. “Give in a way that reflects the faith that you claim.” For want of a better description, Believe Me is a character study on Christians. It is an interesting and humorous look at “Christian culture” through the eyes of four outsiders. Not to give too much away, but while on tour, the four main characters have to learn and put into practice some of the “common-knowledge” ideals and traits that are often associated with being a Christian (praying/worshiping the right way, wearing “Jesus” clothing, not swearing, acting a certain way, etc). Ultimately, the film demonstrates the impact of words, and shows that no matter how much you buy in to the “Christian thing” or play the part of a Christian, it’s nigh-on impossible to imitate or fake having a genuine faith in the long run – when it comes down to it, if you had to give up everything (pride, money, time, etc) to do what you believe God is leading you to do, would you? Thanks to some sound writing from first-time feature writer/director Will Bakke and co-writer Michael B. Allen, Believe Me was a well written film, with funny, dramatic, and poignant moments. As far as cinematography, directing (kudos again to Will Bakke), and editing go, Believe Me is a great example that a fantastic film can be made outside of “Hollywood” (the artistically filmed slo-mo party scenes were amazing!). Additionally, this movie contains one of the best soundtracks I’ve ever heard, period. Aside from simply being great music, the placement of the music lent itself to the overall atmosphere of the film. The lead actors in the film brought their A-game, offering some believable and quality acting, giving their characters real depth. There were also notable cameo appearances from rap artist Lecrae, as well as Parks & Recreation‘s Nick Offerman, who plays a droll yet still humorous college adviser. While it is highly entertaining, brilliantly acted, and extremely well made, there is a lot that one can learn from watching Believe Me. The movie is very thought provoking, passionately produced, and it not-so-subtly demonstrates that mere words can have a huge impact on someone's faith. But I believe that the bigger message to be found in Believe Me is that people should discover Jesus for themselves, and find their hope in Him, and not in some new inspirational speaker, cause, or craze. Believe Me is a satirical look at Christianity. It does feature some drama and mature themes, and as such I highly recommend this movie for older teen-adult audiences.