When I think of a GREAT movie, I think of one with a wonderful plot that you simply must follow all the way to the end. I think of a movie full of all the elements of a perfectly balanced story: humor, drama and suspense. I think of characters that were so well developed, you feel like you get to know them and you're saddened when the movie is over because you feel like you've lost a friend. But mostly, I think of a movie that is so inspiring, it changes your worldview and motivates you to become better at something; a movie that has such a strong conclusion and underlying morals, that you're stirred up into action.
Trust Fund by Mapelle Films is a movie whose cinematographer/producer is actually a homeschool graduate (which is pretty awesome!). The movie attempts to modernize the "Prodigal Son" story from the Bible. True to the tale, the younger sibling takes off with a Trust Fund she stole from her Father's company and runs off to Italy to spend it as she sees fit, ultimately giving it all away to her boyfriend funding illegal activities he is involved in. Her older sister, Audrey, continues to work hard under her Father's employment while her kid sister, Reese, squanders the stolen money away.
Like the prodigal son story, the prodigal daughter finds her way back into her Father's arms and unconditional forgiveness. The older sister, Audrey, has a hard time forgiving her little sister for what she's done to their family and to their company. The Father is accused of being too soft on Reese and faces these accusations several times through the film.
Over all, this movie was put together very well! It didn't have that "lower class, budget film" feel. The acting was very professional and I can't think of a single bad actor off the top of my head. I thoroughly enjoyed these aspects of the movie.
Now let's talk plot. I followed the movie up to the point when the daughter returned home. After that, it felt like there were so many side plots it got confusing and was hard to resolve everything together at the end. I thought this was just me, so I watched it with a few of my friends and they had similar struggles.
As for the conclusion of the film, I was disappointed. There was such a perfect opportunity to unravel and pull together all that happened throughout the movie and I felt like the author of this film sold themselves very short. Reese was standing up to give a speech at her Father's wedding. She began to explain what every viewer has been anticipating the whole movie bringing a grand conclusion to the journey we've been on together, but only a few words were spoken by Reese and then she rushed off the stage to embrace a boy whose character wasn't developed very well throughout the movie to tell him that she loved him.
So how would I rate this movie? I would give it 3 out of 5 stars. The acting and filming was exceptional, however the plot was confusing in the second half of the movie and the conclusion of the film was weak.
Some unique aspects of this film that are worth mentioning is it has a follow-up book called Love Was Near that can to be read after viewing. I did not read this book and therefore cannot speak on it.
Trust Fund also includes a study guide that I read through intended for small group study or one-on-one discipleship with a younger daughter or child. The questions in this study guide were deep and thought provoking. I was pricked by a few of them! The study guide includes the text of the Prodigal Son and brings you through the plot of the story with things to consider.