Friday, October 30, 2009

Frailty

The mystical experiences that often go with religion and can be really scary things. Not when they happen to you—that is understandable, or at least absorbable. When someone else claims to have “heard from God,” you usually wonder: “How do they know it was God?” Or even better, “How can I know it was God?” Because a lot of crazy people have done a lot of crazy things in the name of religion.

This is the story behind “Frailty.” A widowed father of two boys announces one night that “god” has ordered him to kill demons. They look just like ordinary people, and are only revealed to be demons when he touches them. He will be sent to get some weapons, which they will then use to kill the demon-people. The younger son accepts his dad’s vision immediately. The older one understandably thinks it is just wrong and tries to warn the police. Unfortunately, the dad is informed, once again by “god” that the older son is a demon. Instead of killing him, the dad locks him in a cellar until he claims he also has seen “god.”

Who do you trust? Where do you base your beliefs? It is important to know where you stand, because no matter what you believe there is a reality and you need to know that your beliefs are based on more than just a personal (even if mystical) experience.

What makes Frailty more than just another movie about crazed serial killers is the way it explores religious belief—and the way it presents the relationship between belief and reality. It is a hard viewing, but one that makes you think when all is said and done. Why do you believe the things you do? How is that working out for you in reality?

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