Jed King (Alan Powell of the band Anthem Lights) meets and falls for Rose (Ali Faulkner, Twilight), giving him the passion he needs to write songs and rise to stardom. But after the birth of their child, King goes on the road with Shelby (Caitlin Nicol-Thomas, Nashville), and finds himself growing further and further away from his family, his values, and his goals. A cinematic reflection of the Old Testament’s Song of Solomon, the film is a cautionary tale about losing oneself in the road to success.
Produced by City on a Hill Studios, which has generated the small screen productions of Kyle Idleman’s works like not a fan and Gods at War, the film strikes gold in its use of the Biblical text as a basis without pushing too much of a pedantic sermon down our throats. Let’s be clear: this is a parable about losing oneself and there are no questions about the consequences here, but it’s still done in an artful, entertaining (yet sobering) way.
King wants to escape the shadow of his father’s legacy: the father who rose to rock and roll stardom also slept with a married woman and created serious problems for them. Is King’s temptation and struggle a result of his nature? Or is his fall solely tied to his own brokenness? Once he fails to be who he wanted to be, can he move backward to something better or ever hope to find goodness again?
While the film seems aimed at Song of Solomon, the phrase from Ecclesiastes 1:2, “everything is meaningless,” becomes a reoccurring tag to the film. It feels pretty hopeless as we watch King fall, and even in the midst of the moments that should be successes, he’s dragged down by his defeats, by the mistakes he makes that “seem like good ideas at the time.” Maybe the hopelessness is in the fall of humanity from the Garden of Eden, but by the three-quarter mark of the film, I was begging for some hope!
Grace Unplugged took a hard look at the rise to stardom of a musician; The Other Woman looks at an affair… and the path to freedom for one side of it. The truth is that The Song is probably better than both of them, in the intimate, close-up view without much meandering or theatrical overacting.
We’re faced with things to discuss that don’t often get dragged into the Hollywood version of marriage. Can two people get married and then actually work out what it means to be married afterward? Can they talk honestly about sex and what they want from each other? Can forgiveness happen when major mistakes are made or do both people resort to name calling and finger pointing? What kind of intervention would turn this all around?
Powell proves to be a solid lead, and the overall vibe he gives, of tortured musician, lover, father, and husband, is the baseline for the story that this film tells. It’s a warning about the lies we tell ourselves and the things we try to fix on our own. We’re not alone, but in this together. We need each other, and we need the love of Jesus to put us back together.