When most of the products you get the chance to review are education related, the chance to review a movie (that isn't just for kids) is celebrated! When we received Trust Fund from Mapelle Films to watch and review, it was a nice change of pace for my husband and I. We put the kids in bed. We made popcorn. Mr. Butler set the projector up in our bedroom. (Since we don't watch that much television - thank you Netflix and Amazon Prime! - and we just can't decide on the best spot for it, our projector and sound system still isn't set up in our living room.) The movie is a prodigal daughter type story with at least a few actors I had seen before, the producer was homeschooled and the trailer looked intriguing so I was pretty excited about the whole affair!
As soon as it began, I thought Mr. Butler hadn't turned the sound on so I pestered him to fix it. He insisted that it was on and there just must not be any sound yet. Weird. The first scene is a dream sequence about the main character's childhood and he commented that since she was dreaming maybe it made sense there wouldn't be any music. Umm, this music major didn't see the logic in that, but okay.
So, as the plot goes, Reese is a free-spirited writer who is drastically different than her straight-laced responsible older sister, Audrey. Both girls lost their mother when they were teenagers and we see their differing relationships with their father and the publishing company he and their mother built. When Reese struggles in the responsibility department and finds out information her father has been holding back, she starts down a path of youthful passion. Much like the Prodigal Son in the Bible, there is much to be learned from all directions about sin, grace, mercy, forgiveness and patience. So, as the movie goes along I just am struck with shock that there are NO songs. I hear them walk across the floor or clink a coffee cup, but not even montage music during scenes with no dialogue. So weird.
Because life is busy and sleep is very valuable, we watched it over two different nights. On the second night, I began considering all the reasons why a movie might not have music. Did they somehow not have enough money for music? That didn't make sense because everything else was high quality and some notable names in the cast. Was it some artistic statement? I guess maybe, but why risk a financial investment like that on a statement? It was just so bizarre that I almost couldn't take it. Then it occurred to me that if I found it bizarre, surely someone else had too and commented on it somewhere. I googled it and I didn't find any weird explanation, but I did find the soundtrack on Spotify!! And no it was just clinking glasses and footsteps, but real music!! So, wait - did we get a faulty copy or something? Nope. Mr. Butler only set up one speaker, instead of the whole set, and the way it was mixed (or something technical like that) prevented the entire score to be played from only the one speaker! We laughed. so. hard.
Once we finished the movie and continued to laugh at ourselves, we restarted the movie (with the proper speakers) and sure enough there was a beautiful soundtrack to that dream sequence. So many scenes were different and enhanced simply because of the background music. Music matters so much in the evoking of emotion for sure!
Aside from the sound snafu that was completely user error, the movie did a great job highlighting the emotional dynamic that comes into play when someone sins. In the movie, the main character is a writer and her book Love Was Near has actually been published and can be purchased on the film company's website, here. It is all about the character's feelings about putting her bad decisions to rest and what she learns from her experiences. It was certainly clean entertainment and I think it would be a great thing for families with preteens/teenagers to share together. There is even a free downloadable Study Guide that assists in diving deeper into the themes of the story. Both the movie and the book could be great conversation starters!