Review: An interview with God
Starring: Bobby Di Cicco, Brenton Thwaites, David Strathairn, Yael Grobglas
What if you had the chance to interview God? What questions would you ask? Do you really want to know the answers? That is the premise for the film titled, you guessed it, An Interview with God.
The concept is intriguing however the result which is three long interviews between a journalist Paul (Brenton Thwaites) and a man who claims to be God (David Stathairn) is excruciatingly frustrating. Which I guess is what a relationship with God can sometimes be like. When your questioning everything about your life, from what exactly is your purpose to why do we suffer. Questions that at times can seem to be met with deafening silence. In this film though, Paul has someone responding right in front of him, yet the “answers” are underwhelming.
Let’s set the scene. On his return from reporting in Afghanistan, Paul is struggling to reconcile what he has experienced with his failing faith and strained marriage. He is constantly asking God for a sign.
Cue The Man who claims to be God has agreed to be interviewed. The subsequent interviews between the two take place at locations chosen by The Man and coincidently have significant importance to Paul’s life. Throughout the film we begin to unravel why his faith is waning and why trust has broken down in his relationship with his wife Sarah (Yael Grobglas). Also Sarah and Paul? The biblical names don’t stop there, there is even a Matt.
When Paul challenges The Man’s authenticity, The Man says he could have appeared as the burning bush but thought an interview would be more comfortable and familiar for Paul.
As for the interviews, they go as how you would expect. The questions are basic at first and the answers given by The Man can be found in verses within the Bible. A point that sceptical Paul addresses but doesn’t challenge fully.
There are great questions there like how does free will reconcile with God’s will? They also touch on Salvation, and why do bad things happen to good people.
Questions which all make for some lively preaching that hits the nerve and really gets you thinking but on this particular screen it never hit that nerve.
In an interview you hope to find out something new, something you missed before. This just wasn’t the case in this film. An Interview with God wants to be profound yet it feels more self-indulgent, more so it feels like an hour and a half Sunday school lesson. The film is more geared to those who are already Christian, where non-Christians might find it difficult to enter the story.
So for a movie for the converted it wasn’t as powerful and for those searching, it’s unlikely to solidify faith. There is always difficultly trying to encapsulate God onscreen, you really can’t, so whatever is produced is always going to be somewhat underwhelming.
Production value of the film, is B grade. In saying this the performances particularly by leading actor Brenton Thwaites (The Giver) is convincing however he is restricted by the script and direction. At least An Interview with God gave us some winner lines like the one Paul and his Editor Gary (Hill Harper). In the scene, Paul questions if he is really going to put this interview on the front page of the newspaper? Gary responded, “Bout time God made the front page, don’t you agree?”
Well he said what he said.