Homework for you: Watch SOUL
“Enjoy watching movies? Church and Culture consultant Richard recommends you watch Soul and see if you can identify any gospel bridges…”
I do enjoy watching a good movie, but opportunities don’t always present themselves! However, I finally had a chance to watch Disney-Pixar’s latest offering called Soul. Pixar have certainly put out some fun and memorable movies over the years with perhaps some odd story lines, and yet somehow we find ourselves resonating with them!
I wanted to watch this movie because I was intrigued to read a review on it by John Stonestreet & Shane Morris from Colson Centre for Christian Worldview which concluded with the following words:
After a year of disappointments, cancelled plans, and dashed hopes, this redemptive message is one many need to hear. The zany cartoon metaphysics of Disney-Pixar’s latest film seem a bit odd, but trust me, this one has a Christian soul.[i]
I loved the movie.
I’m probably a bit biased because I happen to love playing jazz piano (I’m not all that great at it but I do love giving it a go!), and in this movie the story centres around a jazz piano player who, just as he is about to get his big break…dies.
And then we enter zany spiritual ideas of the afterlife…or should I say the ‘before-life?’ I don’t want to share too much but I hope to ‘tease’ you enough to want to watch it…
Prepare yourself for “New Age-ey” stuff, and just smile at its characterizations. Enjoy the fun one-liner puns and jokes dispersed throughout (we don’t crush souls here…that’s what life on earth is for..)
But do watch this movie and use it as a springboard to discuss it with younger ones – especially teens. Ask yourself the question of “what defines the well lived life?” Take a look at how the movie answers that question, along with its clear insights that come through, such as ‘lost souls obsessed by something that disconnects them from life’ or perhaps you would identify with ‘so close to getting the dream and then something gets in the way.’
Early on in the movie I was reminded of Augustine who famously said that our hearts are restless until they find their rest in God, and later on I was reminded of that sonnet Pied Beauty by Gerard Manley Hopkins where he begins by saying “Glory be to God for dappled things…”
We often criticize the world for seeking fulfilment in money, fame and power, but let’s be honest: Christians also seek fulfilment and significance – its just that we put it into spiritual terms, such as “seeking God’s will for my life.” We’re scared of insignificance.
And a ‘secular’ movie like Soul may just give you something to think about.
It definitely has soul…
Hope you enjoy the movie – would love to hear your thoughts!