The Shack:Movie

Watched “The Shack” a movie based on William Paul Young’s novel of the same name. The movie is directed by Stuart Hazeldine. Sam Worthington and Octavia Spencer play the leading roles of Mack and Papa the God.

It is the story of a man named Mackenzie, a victim of beastly treatment in childhood by none other than his own father, a respected elder in local Church. His father was a drunkard and used to beat his mother. Mack, as he is called throughout the movie, exposed him in the Church, and in turn was mercilessly beaten up by his father. Next day, he does the impossible. He poisons his father’s drink, and gets rid of him!

Well, the movie has just begun. The child, Mack is now the father of three kids, adores his youngest daughter Missy and is loved fondly by his wife, Nan. But, he is sceptical and judgemental in his life. He doesn’t believe in God anymore and follows diktats only to avoid displeasure of Nan, who feels a special bond with God and calls him Papa!

Quite a heady combination, I thought. Mack sure had lots to deal with. His past was turbulent and his present okish. And then a tragedy pushes him into darkness, as he loses his youngest daughter on a fun trip. She has been kidnapped and brutally murdered by a psycho in a Shack.

This tragedy brings Mack’s life to a standstill. He lives like a zombie, cut off from friends and kids till one day he receives an invitation to visit the same shack, where his daughter was killed. The letter is typed and signed by ‘Papa’, Nan’s nickname for God!

Well, I suspected foul play as did Mack and his good friend Willie, who by the way is the narrator here. Mack borrows or rather steals Willi’s truck and reaches The Shack. And then, began the real fun. There he meets, well, you have guessed it, or at least getting a wink of it in your heart, yes, he meets God the Papa. But, Papa is a woman! A kind hearted woman Mack remembers from his childhood.

You must have got the drift by now. The movie is an attempt to talk about love, forgiveness and life in a sweet, religious way. Though it gets a little over the top, trying hard to make God, Jesus and Creative Spirit alive, still I did enjoy it.

Catharsis is essential to overcome grief and sadness lest we would continue to live in guilt and depression. To put the past behind is the first step towards enjoying life in present and creating a better future. Yet despite our best efforts, at times, we can’t forgive ourselves and others. The wounds fester and unhealed scars continue to itch throughout our lives, making us bitter and aloof.

Of late I have been noticing that almost each one of us is nursing his/her wounds or rather taking pride in carrying those unhealed scars within. We believe we haven’t got a chance to bury the past. But on the contrary, perhaps we don’t want to forget or forgive. We are carrying our albatross proudly. Sins/slights/failures/betrayals, we have become so habitual to have them with us that we don’t even realize the burden they are putting on our innocent souls.

Yes,of late, I have been realizing that soul is innocent, inner conscience is always pure. We simply overwrite it’s will with our malicious intent. And then keep on wondering why everything is going downhill or why we are feeling miserable and sad despite all our attempts at material success. What we fail to recognize is that unless we make peace with our past, our deeds, our sins, our guilts, we can never move on.

And this is what The Shack attempts to do. To show us a way to forgive those who wronged us and forgive ourselves for all the mistakes/blunders we have made. Though the movie does exaggerate the topic by arranging an actual meeting with God, Jesus, Creativity, Wisdom and dead spirits and even arranging a funeral for little Missy. Yet, the message is loud and clear.

Each act was a generous act of redemption, rescuing Mack from his past, his own guilt, his own destructive mind. It is human nature to judge the potency of a medicine in proportion to the grandeur it creates. And so here the cure was made larger than life, to restore Mack’s faith in his own goodness and loving nature.

Yes, the verdict is out. I loved the movie…

Leave a Reply