Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Movie Review: October Baby

October Baby

Recommended for: Ages 12 to Adult

Rating PG-13 (mature thematic material)
  This movie deals with abortion. I thought it handled it quite well, not sugar coating the fact that abortion is murder while not becoming gratuitous, and said things that need to be said.

"You saw me before I was born." Psalm 139:16 (NLT)

As the curtain rises, Hannah hesitantly steps onto the stage for her theatrical debut in college. Yet before she can utter her first lines, Hannah—unscripted—collapses in front of the stunned audience.

After countless medical tests, all signs point to one underlying factor: Hannah's difficult birth. This revelation is nothing compared to what she then learns from her parents: she was actually adopted … after a failed abortion attempt.

Bewildered, angered, and confused, Hannah turns for support to Jason, her oldest friend. Encouraged by his adventurous spirit, Hannah joins his group of friends on a Spring Break road trip, embarking on a journey to discover her hidden past … and find hope for her unknown future.

In the midst of her incredible journey, Hannah finds that life can be so much more than what you have planned.

For a long time, I wasn't really interested in October Baby. I'm not sure why, maybe I was expecting it to be like a lot of other Christian films: poor acting and filmography, with the possibility of a decent storyline. However, I was extremely pleasantly surprised. I loved October Baby. It was very well done, and had a great message besides. I highly recommend it. Don't do like I did and hold off on it. It's truly a terrific movie.

Technical: 5/5

October Baby was well-written, well-acted, and well-filmed. I was pleasantly surprised by the professional quality. I don't recall ever being pulled out of the story by a line that seemed awkwardly written or spoken. One character in a single scene pronounces "Hannah" kind of oddly, but that's nothing compared to all the inconsistent pronunciations that drive me crazy in Star Wars. It's a powerful film. And the professional quality should cause it to reach more people than a less well-made film of the same story and message would.

Setting: 4.5/5

It has a modern setting, and a road trip around the coast to Mobile, Alabama. It seemed fairly realistic, despite just about every hotel room looking the same on the inside. The way the story was, it didn't require much out of the setting, and the locations used fit well.

Plot: 4.5/5

October Baby is more than just a story of a young adopted woman trying to find her birth mother. That has been done, and probably overdone, but October Baby is more about Hannah dealing with the discovery that she survived an abortion. The plot moved fairly quickly and naturally, as Hannah and Jason sought after the truth about Hannah's birth. Maybe the discoveries were a bit too easy for them to get to, but it isn't a detective story, and that didn't make the revelations any less moving. In fact, though I almost never cry over fiction, October Baby made me cry a bit at parts. That's a big deal. The story deals with abortion in a way that is both sensitive to women who have had an abortion and still portrays it for what it is. Abortion is murder, and October Baby doesn't shy away from that fact or from saying how horrific it is. And the message during the credits is powerful as well. It is a story I would be willing to watch again.

Character Development: 5/5

All the characters seemed very real to me, from Hannah to B-Mac to Cindy Hastings. Hannah and her oldest friend Jason are the main characters. I liked Hannah a lot. It's clear she's had a lot of struggles with her health and finding out the reason only makes things harder for her emotionally, particularly when Alana is mean to her. She has a small positive character arc, so she grows throughout the movie, learning forgiveness and other things. I also really liked Jason. He was always there for her growing up, and still is, despite not being her boyfriend. And, even when they end up apart from the rest of the road trip group, he always behaves completely honorably. He's just such a good guy. I happen to like it when guy characters are honorable. Yet, he's not completely perfect, so he's a well-rounded character and not a misrepresentation of reality. Maybe his kind is rare, in fact, I know it is, but I also know it is not nonexistent.

In conclusion, October Baby is an excellent movie with a powerful and relevant message that will not be easily forgotten. Highly recommended.

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