I Can Only Imagine (Movie Review/ Reflection)
The old lady beside me was wracked with an onslaught of sobs. My husband was sniffling and so were the people in front of us. It’s been a while since I watched a heavy-drama movie and apparently, I Can Only Imagine has moved a lot of movie-goers in an unbroken stream of tears.
I knew the song long before the name of the singer. The titular, I Can Only Imagine became my source of comfort during the really low point of my life. The lyrics speak through the core of my soul offering both solace and assurance when I thought that I lost everything.
Movies adapted from books are fairly common and I think it’s a bit odd that a song would be the heart of a movie. I expected it to be a bit tedious and desperately sentimental but the movie far exceeded my expectations. The characters gave in-depth justice to the roles they played and while obviously based on a Christian faith, the movie succeeded in conveying the message without overwhelming the audience with Biblical references. While trying to convey the message of abuse as the source of deep pains and hurts, there’s no overpowering graphic images of violence yet the emotions were tender and poignant.
Finley as Bart Millard impressively brought us into his painful journey that gave life to the lyrics of the song. Surprisingly, Quaid as an abusive father was the reason of the first tears I shed. The scenes were relatable and one could surmise it does happen in real life.
While the song was mainly about a promise when the time to face God comes, the movie was undeniably a journey of forgiveness. More than the lyrics, what really got through me was the celebratory tone of the music despite of all the pains and sufferings Millard went through in the hands of his father. It evoked feelings and memories long buried inside.
Millard’s journey through forgiveness is certainly a beautiful story that’s worth your time. My husband and I were thankful that we spent our Friday night watching it.
“Surrounded by Your glory, what will my heart feel
Will I dance for you Jesus or in awe of you be still
Will I stand in your presence or to my knees will I fall
Will I sing hallelujah, will I be able to speak at all
I can only imagine
I can only imagine.”