Faulkner reviews “I can only Imagine”

“I Can Only Imagine” is, so far, the crying movie of 2018. Lionsgate’s newest film surpassed the expectations I took into the theatre. I didn’t know that the movie was about the composer of “I Can Only Imagine” -the song of the same name- and how his life inspired him to write the song. I thought it would be a Pureflix quality film with predictable plot and a message anyone could see coming a mile away. My curiosity led me to the story of Bart Millard. Let the waterworks begin.

The story is one of a boy who uses music as an escape when his parents fight at night, until his mother leaves his abusive father and him. As he gets older, things with his father get worse, until he falls in love with music. He leaves his father behind and joins the band MercyMe. But when the band finds adversity, Bart must return home and face what is holding him back. That is where he finds the inspiration for the title song.

It was a well made film, the story was compelling and the dialogue was witty. Camera angles show the progressing relationship between Bart and his father, usually showing Bart from a lower angle and looking up at his father to create a threatening effect. Even the swapped places where Bart and his father sat before and after he left, that detail shows the redistribution of power between them and created a tense mood.

Of course, a movie about a song couldn’t exist without music. The soundtrack has a wide variety from classic rock, to showtunes, to worship. Each song serves a different purpose, some simply serve as an example or a gag, but others are meant to be impactful. At the end of the movie we finally get to hear the title song in a tearful performance.

“I Can Only Imagine’s” message is one of forgiveness and redemption, which is a message people should hear no matter their personal faith. It floored me and made me cry repeatedly throughout the movie. Go for the music, go for the story, go if you think you could relate, go if you need to cry. Go see “I Can Only Imagine” for any of those reasons and so many more.