The Shack Movie 2017 Review and Synopsis

The Shack Movie – One of the largest publishing phenomena of the past 10 years has been William P. Young’s Christian-themed novel The Shack, which has sold over ten million copies since its release in 2007. With numbers like these, it seemed inevitable that a movie adaptation would one day appeal to the novel’s devoted following as well as, ideally, to viewers who had never read the book before. Fans of the novel may pleased with the outcome, but those who have never read or seen the book may left wondering why there is such a fuss. The movie “The Shack” tries very hard to be a realistic examination of faith and forgiveness, but it somehow manages to be both too harmless and too unsettling.

Mack Phillips (Sam Worthington) overcame the hardships of an aggressive and intoxicated father (Derek Hamilton) during his difficult childhood. With his wife Nan (Radha Mitchell) and their three children, adolescent boys Josh (Gage Munroe) and Kate (Megan Charpentier), as well as the adorably cute moppet Missy (Amelie Eve), he is now living a happy life. Everything changes when Mack takes the three kids camping while Nan stays behind to take care of business, and Missy vanishes after left by Mack alone as he saves his other kids from drowning in a canoeing accident. The police are able to locate the suspect in a distant, decaying shack, but all they find there is some blood and Missy’s torn dress. It turns out that someone out there has been kidnapping and killing young girls.

the shack movie

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The Shack Movie : Mack Find Nothing

Mack struggles to move past the tragedy despite the passage of time. It has an impact on his interactions with the rest of his family during “The Great Sadness.” One day, a mysterious note addressed to “Papa,” Nan’s favorite moniker for God, appears in his mailbox requesting him to visit the same cabin the following weekend.

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When he gets there, he initially finds nothing, but, as he getting ready to leave, the surroundings change from frigid nothingness to a lush, lovely environment and the shack now a spiffy domicile housing a version of the Holy Trinity in which God—sorry, Papa an African-American woman (Octavia Spencer), Jesus (Avraham Aviv Alush) a carpenter of Middle-Eastern descent and the Holy Spirit is represented as an Asian woman named Sarayu (Sumire Matsubara). Over the course of the following three days, Mack develops relationships with the three of them, learns to forgive, and finds some solace in Missy’s passing.

Since its release, “The Shack” has generated a lot of debate within the Christian world due to its interpretation of the Holy Trinity and the Bible, which some believe to be heretical. Having seen the film, I would dismiss those accusations as unfounded; to be truly heretical would take a higher level of reasoning than the clumsy storyline and naive New Agey koans shown here.

Even the best authors would have a difficult time attempting to put words in God’s mouth(s), but couldn’t the writers collected here come up with something a little more insightful than the cliches being presented as spiritual truths here? According to the rather hazy thinking on show, God is in charge of everything that is right, honest, and lovely in the world but always has an explanation for the less desirable aspects of existence.

the shack movie

Review the Shack Movie

If one has the audacity to raise this specific issue, as Mack understandably does, all one receives in response is a slew of straw man justifications that ostensibly address his queries but don’t actually do so. The minor details included to make God seem more relevant to us, like the sudden admission by Papa that she likes Neil Young, are equally off-putting. If this had resulted in Mack questioning why she would let that revolting CD containing only songs about his automobile to exist, I might have been able to forgive her.

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There is very little in the way of a logical storyline for anyone who does not already subscribe to “The Shack’s” point of view, despite all the pontificating on show. Yes, there are many story points on display, but the screenplay is more interested in passing them along than in actually addressing them. Despite informed about Mack’s isolation from his family as a result of Missy’s murder, we only see one extremely brief scene. Perhaps because doing more might highlight the fact that the older daughter, who was responsible for the canoe mishap and is feeling guilty about it, is the one who should really be meeting with Papa and the rest of the group.

the shack movie

Review the Shack Movie

Rather than him. The film begins with a description of a young Mack and his mother beaten by his father, which leads to the suggestion that he murders the elderly man outright, only to never bring it up again; in addition, not only does Papa fail to bring it up during their conversations, but even his own father, in spirit form, who is pleading for forgiveness, never mentions it.

As “The Shack” dragged on (it runs for more than two hours and makes you feel every minute), I began to think more and more about “Silence,” Martin Scorsese’s most recent religious drama that recently came and passed through theaters. That movie, like “The Shack,” addressed the type of spiritual crisis that can arise when someone devoted their entire life to praying to a God who seems more interested in letting you suffer endlessly than in responding those prayers. However, “Silence” takes its inquiries into spirituality and the essence of God seriously, producing a compelling movie that even those without any form of strongly held religious background might still find provocative.

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On the other hand, “The Shack” only empty rhetoric that uses all the appropriate words but fails to give them any significance that may allow it to have meaning for those who not already inclined to like it. Naturally, given the popularity of the book, there is a strong likelihood that “The Shack” will gross more money in its opening weekend than “Silence” did throughout its entire run, which is gloomy enough to cause spiritual crises in a variety of moviegoers.