My thoughts on Overcomer
Image Credit: AFFIRM Films A Sony Company CTMG 2019
‘Overcomer’ is a perfect example of a film that is accessible and relatable on so many different levels. It oozes the premise of a feel-good light-hearted comedy to begin with, reassuring us that there is always hope.
The divergence from this comes when the true message is projected, and suddenly a film that could have been predictable completely changes its route.
It’s the sixth film from Christian film company Kendrick Brothers, and much like the others does not disappoint.
The plot follows John Harrison, a basketball coach, who has to move over to coach cross country. Only one person appears to join up, which makes him feel disparaged and give up hope.
Hannah’s need for faith and enjoyment in something is evident.
The person who turns up is Hannah, she’s had a difficult upbringing and needs a focus to help her to progress. Hannah’s need for faith and enjoyment in something is evident from early on in the film, but when I realised that John also needed a saviour, a purpose and a guide, the level of reality in the film grew for me.
When going to pray at the hospital, John meets a blind man, Thomas, who is very ill and asks to share some of his time. He took the wrong life path growing up, and said that God took his sight so he could see, so even though he is physically blind his mind is clearer.
He opens John’s mind by opening up about his own past struggles and his connection with God, although he speaks more than Hannah does, I got the feeling that this man may also work as a saviour and that he and Hannah have similar roles to help John.
The film is based mainly on Ephesians, the tenth book of the New Testament in the Bible. This is translated when John is asked by Thomas who he is, to which he answers with his profession, his family setting and his ethnic background. When pushed, he says that he is a Christian, and Thomas asks why this was so far back behind the other things that society can see. This seems to be a turning point for John, and from this point, he uses his faith to conquer difficult decisions.
Throughout the film we get the notion of hope.
I particularly enjoyed this part of the film as I felt before this that John’s character was not explored further than that of cliché. He portrays a strong loving father dealing with disappointment over his job but to see him think philosophically about who he really is and consider his mistakes made him seem more relatable and human. Throughout the film we get the notion of hope, sometimes John feels deflated but each corner brings a new ray of light and feeling of hope.
Initially ‘Overcomer’ and its characters can seem like an American cliché, particularly the loving supportive Harrison family and their ability to create good from every situation.
Each character seemed to overcome the troubles that they were facing.
The typical American trope however is that good luck seems to come from thin air, but each character works hard to achieve and this is why ‘Overcomer’ stands apart from cliché. As the title would suggest, each character seemed to overcome the troubles that they were facing, and the other side of this was filled with joy and hope. This was very similar to my feelings when I had finished watching ‘Overcomer’ as the ending was very emotional and sorrowful but gave a glimmer of hope for the future of the characters.
Overall, this was a beautiful piece of thought-provoking cinema that I would highly recommend for an exploration of emotion and hope.