Sins and Blessings is filled with more cinematic sins than blessings. Absolutely everything, from the writing to the acting, was the quality of a bad student film. The total run time was one hour and thirty-five minutes, but if felt much longer. Much longer. I felt that the creators developed the film with good intentions, which is why they received two stars. Good intentions, however, only go so far.
Sins and Blessings is the story of friends, Sean and Cameron, who discover a relationship with God in two very different ways. Based on a true story, Sins and Blessings stars Simuel R. Lunsford, Rashone Washington (One Foot in One Foot Out) and London Kasmir.
First and foremost, it is abundantly clear that this film had a small budget and a cast and crew relatively new to film making. Therefore, before delving into the technicalities, I would like to state that I applaud them for undergoing the daunting task of making a film, let alone a Christian one.
With that said, I can’t in good conscience tell you that it is a masterpiece in cinema. Its problems started with the writing. The story was extremely slow moving. It was bogged down by scene after scene of heavy (not well written) dialogue.
The acting didn’t help. Everyone in the film was completely monotone. During the intended dramatic scenes, this really stood out. There was one scene where Sean is told that he is the father of his girlfriend’s baby. Neither actor had any reasonable amount inflection in their voice during the entire scene. It was so unbelievable that I wasn’t sure if I should laugh or slam my head into a pillow. I ended up doing both.
Then there was the sound department. Sound departments usually go unnoticed unless they are really bad or really good. I’m sure you can guess which category this sound department fell into. It’s hard to describe the musical problems in the film because you would have to hear them to fully understand. I will say, though, that the most disappointing scene was the last one. Despite the fact that I should have been happy that the film was over, all I felt was frustration at the fact that there was no background music. The ending scene was Sean and Cameron eating out on the porch with their families. The last couple of minutes were filled with no real dialogue and no music. It was the perfect scene to play some sappy music that would make us feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Instead we got eating, silence, and then credits. Awkward!
The worst part, though, was the fact that I would hesitate to show this film to both non-Christians and new-Christians. This is because, in the last third of the movie, Sean gets a message from God…audibly. We can literally hear God speaking to him in full sentences. He then continues to get very lengthy and detailed messages from God from then on. Now, I am in no way saying that this didn’t really occur or that God doesn’t communicate to people in this manor. I 100% believe that with God, all things are possible. However, I would say it is safe to assume that He does not communicate with the majority of people in this way. Hence why there are books on the subject such as Priscilla Shirer’s “Discerning the Voice of God: How to Recognize When God is Speaking” (which I highly recommend by the way). Therefore, I would be afraid that new-believers would get disheartened that they are not experiencing these miraculous messages. They could come to the faulty conclusion that God is not guiding them or that he doesn’t care about them enough to audibly speak to them. As for non-believers, I think it is safe to assume that they would instantly write Christians off as being crazy. Therefore, I believe this film could be problematic if shown to the masses.
Sins and Blessings did have a lovely message, though, which was that no matter what sin a person has committed, God can fix it. So true!
If you are interested in watching this film, you can stream it for free with Amazon Prime.
LOOKING TO SHOW IT AT CHURCH?
For all the reasons stated above, I would not recommend showing this movie at church. There are movies out there that are better suited for church viewing.
WHAT AGE GROUP IS IT FOR?
Sins and Blessings is best left for an adult audience. There are scenes of alcohol consumption and discussion of pregnancy before marriage, strip clubs, and blowup dolls.