Recently, as I was scrolling through Netflix, I was reminded of one movie that I think is horrible on all levels (Not The Sarratov Approach). It’s a movie called Missionary. I’ve never watched it, but one look at the trailer is bad enough. A movie about a missionary that has an affair with a woman and then turns into a murderous stalker is absolutely vile and there is such an evil feeling that goes along with the movie.
Soon after seeing that movie on the list of Netflix movies and feeling those negative feelings, I was reminded of a much better movie. A movie that inspires on all levels. That movie, is The Saratov Approach.
The Sarratov Approach tells the true story of two Mormon missionaries serving in Russia who get kidnapped and help for ransom in a remote part of the country. The movie tells their inspiring tale of survival.
The movie is definitely an achievement in LDS filmmaking. Nearly everything in the movie works and it’s absolutely thrilling.
The performances by the two lead missionaries are wonderful. They have great chemistry together and their bond is felt almost immediately. Their friendship and relationship is built in such a way that when they are being held in captivity and they talk with each other, every word out of their mouth is believable, their emotion feels true and heartfelt, and their entire relationship feels real.
The performances by the two kidnappers are also really good. You can really feel their desperation and the movie does a good job of giving the kidnappers character and traits. Instead of it just being two bad guys with no character, the movie really develops the kidnappers and their motives are understood, and to me, that is a sign of great filmmaking.
The performances by the family members could be a little better, for me, whenever the movie went back home and focused on the family members in America, the movie seemed to slow down a bit and the family wasn’t as believable. But they don’t spend too much time back home and thankfully, most of the movie focuses on the two missionaries.
The music in the movie is very good. It brings out the emotions of the scenes perfectly. One scene in particular has one of the missionaries talking about his decision to serve a mission, the acting by Corbin Allred in the scene and the incredible music combine to make an amazing and emotional scene. Corbin Allred is so believable in the scene and the music is so powerful. It’s one of the best scenes in the movie.
Overall, this is an inspiring and moving movie. It hits you in your core and gives you hope. It’s a huge achievement in LDS filmmaking and one can only hope that we get even more movies like this.