It might sound bad, but I'm not going to lie...I really did not want to go see this movie. I felt a bit skeptical as to the motives of this movie. Was this just another way for the band to "cash in" on a song that is almost 20 years old? But I'm getting ahead of myself. Allow me to start at the beginning.
If you aren't familiar with the Christian hit song, "I Can Only Imagine" - it is the best selling Christian song of all time, going triple platinum (3 million albums sold). It crossed over to secular radio stations peaking at #27 on the charts. The song invites the listener to imagine what it would be like to be in Heaven.
The song is clearly a well loved song, and I have loved it over the years as well. So when I say I was skeptical about the motive, don't get me wrong: I am not anti-I can only imagine! I just didn't want to go watch a movie if it was just a big "commercial" for this song.
This film was so much more than just a big commercial or another way to "cash in". Whether or not you are a Christian music fan - this movie is worth seeing
It tells the true story of how Bart Millard came to write this song. That journey is what makes this movie worth watching and worth making sure others do too. It's a tragic story of an incredibly abusive father, and a boy who found hope and solace in music.
While this movie isn't a "feel good" movie, it is an inspiring story. A story that needs to be told; because, he's not alone. I appreciate the fact that Bart Millard shared his deepest pains and at the same time shared the strength he found in choosing forgiveness as well as confronting the painful memories and reality, and the transforming power of the Gospel in his father's life.
In past decades, Christian movies may have been a bit cheesy and obviously scripted... but this movie is far from that. It gets into the gritty reality of what millions of people face and shows how one man found strength and hope in God through music. Not only that, at the end it provides a number to call for those who find themselves in abusive situations. In essence: by telling his story Bart Millard has attempted to share his hope with others while also pointing to practical help.
This film has several intense scenes that small children would probably find scary. Overall: I would say this is a movie that needs to be seen. I've said it before, and I will say it again: history isn't something stuck in textbooks. It's people's lives. When people are willing to share their lives so that others can benefit, I think it's a worthwhile thing to support.