"I Can Only Imagine" isn't your average Christian movie

Taylor Deaton, Staff Writer

Photo courtesy of Unsplash.com

Photo courtesy of Unsplash.com

The views and opinions expressed on in this article are solely those of the original author. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of The Vision NGU or North Greenville University.

Spoiler Alert. The following article contains spoilers for the movie, "I Can Only Imagine." 

"I Can Only Imagine" is unlike any other movie of the same genre, with a clear message and a deeply emotional story to express it. This movie tells a tale of suffering and forgiveness that can only be found in a relationship with Christ.

"I Can Only Imagine" brings the life of Bart Millard, lead singer of the popular Christian band MercyMe, to theaters around the world. While centering a movie around a song can be risky, Millard’s story is displayed beautifully by actor J. Michael Finley.

Millard’s soul-shattering story begins when he is a young boy. After several disheartening scenes in which Millard’s father, Arthur (Dennis Quaid), verbally abuses his mother, Millard attends a summer camp.

The camp changes Millard’s life for the better. The life-changing events don’t stop there, as he comes home to see his mother has left their family. From there, Millard’s life descends into a struggle of dealing with physical and verbal abuse.

Some of the most devastating scenes are when Millard watches his mother’s moving truck drive away from the house and then, later on, Millard’s girlfriend watching him drive away from the same spot.

Throughout these moments in the story, it flashes forward to Millard speaking with Amy Grant (Nicole DuPort) in regards to his new song, “I Can Only Imagine."

When Millard leaves home, he connects with three other guys, and they become the band MercyMe. After MercyMe isn’t signed to a record label, Millard becomes angry and realizes he needs to return home.

When Arthur tries to make things right between them, Millard storms out of the house and jumps into his father’s truck, desperately wishing to leave. In the truck, Millard finds papers which reveal that Arthur has pancreatic cancer.

From this point on, the movie turns into an emotional rollercoaster as Millard and Arthur try to mend their broken relationship in his last days. Millard’s forgiving persona towards his father after everything he was put through is inspiring. All that could be heard in the theater were sniffles.

Once Arthur passes away, after fully receiving Christ into his heart, Millard rejoins his bandmates on the road.

That night, Millard wrote “I Can Only Imagine” in 10 minutes on their bus. The song showed every record label just what MercyMe was capable of.

While "I Can Only Imagine" shared Millard’s amazing testimony, the movie did wonders for those in Christ and out of Christ.

This film, with a budget of $7 million, has grossed over $55 million after being in theaters for only a little over two weeks. The impact made has been phenomenal.  “I Can Only Imagine” is the most played Christian song to this day and the movie is doing great in sales.

This is a movie for everyone, not just Christians, and all involved in the production have made it clear that "I Can Only Imagine" is not the typical Christian film. It digs deeper into Christianity with the aspect of forgiveness, which is a very difficult task for many to master.

It takes a lot of faith and a lot of trust to be able to produce a movie as touching as "I Can Only Imagine."