A friend recommended this movie, so I checked it out of the local library. Honestly, I expected it to be rather sappy — one of those Christian feel-good movies, implying that all you have to do is get enough people praying, and God will be manipulated into doing whatever you want. Well, I am surprised to say, I liked it!
Chrissy Metz (of This is Us) did an excellent job portraying the mother of John Smith, a young man who fell through the ice of a Missouri lake. After spending at least 20 minutes in freezing waters, and 45 minutes or more with no pulse — he is revived after his mother, Joyce, prays for him. Transported to another hospital, a specialist informs the parents that their son will probably not survive the night, and if he does, will have little brain function. Joyce insists that those around her son remain positive, and that everything possible be done to maintain his life.
After a wrenching scene in which Joyce realizes she has been pridefully insisting that she is the reason her son is still alive, she surrenders to God’s will and His plan for her son and her family. Yes, there continue to be prayers, but with the understanding that God is always in control. Miraculously, sixteen days later, John walks out of the hospital, mind and body intact.
Throughout the film, the Smith’s pastor, Jason is a constant support and presence, because “that’s what shepherds do.”
Of course, the very pertinent question of “why me?” is raised. Why did John survive, when others do not? The answer, rightly, is unknowable. After all, God is God and we are not.
Breakthrough will make you feel good. It’s based on a true event, and reminds us that miracles are possible. However, it did not imply that we, through any pious or deserving action on our part, can influence God’s decision. We are in His hand.
VERDICT: 5 stars. You’ll enjoy this movie. It was an honest portrayal of a Christian family coping with crisis — and one that has a happy ending.
For other reviews of Christian films, visit these posts: