Movie Review by Andrea Combs
“And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” – Esther 4:14
Frans Cronje’s latest film, The Roar, has a strong, God-centered message about finding one’s identity and purpose in Christ. Woven throughout the movie are clear themes of conviction and calling. This movie, packed with family values, portrays the importance of honesty, the pitfalls of deceit, and the essential need to humble one’s self before the Lord. Being a South-African made movie, there is also a strong anti-rhino poaching message throughout the film.
Louise du Preez is an extraordinary singer with a beautiful heart who aspires to be a Broadway actress. The movie begins with her auditioning for a play in New York City. The judges are impressed and enthralled by her gift. They cast Louise for the show, but her excitement is dampened by the realization that now she’ll have to share the news with her father and fiancé who are otherwise ignorant of her venture to stardom.
Louise’s life is rooted in South Africa, where her dad, Ranger, runs a game reserve and her fiancé, Andre, is his right-hand man. She is torn between the choice of staying to live in the African home she loves and the choice of moving to New York to pursue a dream she never imagined could become reality.
Back in the Matingwe game reserve, accompanied by her uncle and friend (who reside in New York City), Louise is burdened with the knowledge that she needs to confess the truth she has hidden from the men she loves. Later that evening, Louise’s father bestows to the happy couple the deed to the game reserve. When a fellow guest at the reserve, Stone MacGregor, accidentally shares Louise’s Broadway secret, how will Ranger and Andre respond? Will this revelation bring harmony or disunity to the family?
When she needs it most, Louise is encouraged by family and friends to submit to God’s calling on her life. Her uncle Moose reassures her that everyone has a “for such a time as this” moment, and he suggests that this could be hers. Perhaps God has brought her to this moment for a specific purpose. He makes the interesting analogy that Louise is much like a rhino. Her horn is her talent and she must protect it from the poachers.
When Louise approaches Andre to further discuss the topic of Broadway, she admits she was wrong in keeping the audition a secret. Neither of them knows what to do, so Andre suggests they pray. This Christ-centered choice unites them as a couple again, bringing them closer together in their relationship.
The story of Queen Esther is read aloud to local school children, reinforcing the message that she, an orphan, was made for such a time as this. She risked her life to petition the King on behalf of her people. Louise encourages the young boys and girls that each of them are royalty in God’s eyes. Just like Queen Esther, Louise, too, needs to be brave in following God’s call on her life, rather than surrendering to the fear of all that is at stake.
Stone MacGregor reminds Louise of the importance in using the gifts God gives us. He tells her that fulfilling her purpose isn’t selfish; it’s worship. When she admits she cannot change the world, he says that we aren’t supposed to change the world. We just need to be obedient and trust God to do so. This conversation is ultimately what leads to her change in perspective.
Louise is convicted with the knowledge that she must confront her father. His clear and continued opposition to her pursuit of Broadway has driven a serious wedge between them. She longs to live out the life God has planned for her and cannot settle for her earthly father’s plan any longer.
Louise tells her dad in a passionate monologue, “When it comes to how I choose to live my life. I don’t need your permission or your blessing. I’d like both, but I can live without either. I’ve realized that there’s only one King I want to serve; one Kingdom I want to be a part of. So, I have to inform you: I’m surrendering, but not to you.” Will this be the wakeup call Ranger needs? Or will their relationship be strained for the foreseeable future?
The Roar is a must-see movie for more reasons than one. The themes anchored throughout are convicting and uplifting. Breath-taking panoramas of the game reserve are also carefully integrated throughout the film, showcasing the beauty and wonder of God’s creation. It’s vital to note that the music score was well chosen for the movie and helped to carry the themes of the film throughout. Bring your family and your friends to support this inspiring motion picture.
You can find out more about The Roar at The Purpose Campaign or on their Facebook page, Faith Film Hub Africa. To contact for more info, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Roar is showing at Ster Kinekor until 22 March. Many requests from people who live in the "platteland" have been received, so they will make the movie available for screenings in churches, or school halls. Please send them an email email@example.com, or sms to 0828071812 if you are interested to host such a screening anywhere in Africa. You can find out more about The Roar at The Purpose Campaign, or on their Facebook page, Faith Film Hub Africa. To contact for more info, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.