Movie Review: Grace and Gravity

John FarrellBy John Farrell4 Minutes

According to a report published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and posted on the National Institute of Mental Health’s website, in 2017 “suicide was the tenth leading cause of death overall in the United States, claiming the lives of over 47,000 people.” In that year alone, there were 47,173 suicides in the U.S., compared to 19,510 homicides.

With the prevalence of people experiencing anxiety and depression today, suicide rates continue to be high. Although we live in a time of uncertainty, it’s just as important to take care of your mental health as it is your physical health.

Grace and Gravity tackles this very important and timely issue of suicide.

The majority of the 2018 film’s action takes place on a remote bridge in the English backcountry with a few poignant flashbacks blended in seamlessly to tell the story of the two characters: Chris Arnold (Richard Brimblecombe) and John Palmer (Bruce Marchiano).

John is a devout Christian from the United States visiting the United Kingdom for work. At the end of his assignment overseas, he decides to stay a little longer in order to snap a couple of photographs of bridges. Upon arriving at the spot where he plans to take some pictures, he sees Chris preparing to jump off the bridge. He yells at him to stop and immediately looks for a way to get to him. Without an easier path to the bridge’s deck, John daringly climbs the trusses to reach Chris and tell him about Jesus and the Bible.

But John is in for a surprise!

Chris is a former pastor-turned-atheist who knows more about the Bible than John. He even corrects some of John’s incorrect scriptural references. In this way, Grace and Gravity sets itself apart from other faith-based Christian movies, which often portray the atheist as a lost soul who knows nothing about the Bible and Christianity.

John begins telling Chris about God and his faith by reading a Bible verse off a small slip of paper he has with him: “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.” (John 1:1) Chris is already familiar with the verse.

John is pleased to learn that Chris already knows about Jesus. He explains that with God there is hope (“Christianity isn’t religion. It’s true faith. It offers real hope.”) and a better alternative than jumping off a bridge. Whatever he says, however, is met with a cynicism and sarcasm John doesn’t quite have an answer for.

As the conversation between the two men continues, it becomes clear that both are broken in their own ways … perhaps John more so than Chris. They learn about each other’s pasts and begin to develop a bond and an understanding of one another. Although they may not realize it at the time, they help each other confront issues they’ve each been dealing with in their own lives for a long time.

Although Grace and Gravity had a small budget to work with, the movie’s plot takes several twists and turns making it an entertaining flick with an important message—suicide is never the answer. God is.

If you need help, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline (toll-free): 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

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You can also find resources and help at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention