Saturday, May 24, 2014

Minireview: Flywheel

This film quite surprised me. While obviously shot on a tight budget and suffering from some weak acting and preachiness, Flywheel's unrelenting sense of reality saves it from the mass of faith films.

It just all seems so real (even more so, in fact, than the more polished films the Kendricks would later produce). The used car lot, the unglamorous people, the dialogue. The ever-sincere Alex Kendrick, as well, anchors the cast as a Scrooge character, Jay Austin. Instead of demonizing Austin in his swindling sales, we're allowed to see his motivations, understand why he does it, and also how he justifies it to himself (even though we don't sympathize.) We can see clearly that while getting his life together and turning to God could solve some of his problems, it will exacerbate others. What's more: it does, and it's no plain sailing from there on out.

While we do end with a little too much sunshine, Flywheel is an entertaining faith drama (albeit with a set audience), that is endearing in its smallness, earnestness, and willingness to take on the issues not just of converting to Christianity, but living with it.

3.5/5 stars

Hannah Long

1 comment:

  1. We watched this a couple times a few years ago. I did get a feel of that realism you speak of--I like one of the side characters as well--but over all, I just thought that the preachiness was too much. It was too sweet sunshiney-preachy, the way I see it. I was happy there was some grit and reality in there, but I didn't enjoy it. I tried to analyze and tell myself it's good aspects, then I realized I was trying to convince myself to like it, when the simple truth was that I just didn't enjoy it. Facing the Giants was much better, though all of the Kendricks films that I've seen seem to have a too easy preachy aspect that I find annoying. I'm hoping that I don't fall in that trap with my own screenplay. The latest I really enjoyed though...Courageous. Seemed more natural, I was able to believe in it more.


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