Monday 22 April 2013


Singles and married couples alike will learn valuable lessons as they witness the reconciliation of two broken people in the movie, "FIREPROOF". God can heal a broken relationship—even if it seems irreconcilable—if we follow His ways.



(Warning: this review has spoilers)

Review by Sharon Lim

Forget the Hollywood fairy tale where boy meets girl and they fall in love, marry and live happily ever after.

This movie is set in the middle of the Holts’ seventh year of marriage, long after the initial sparks of romance have fizzled out. Enter Caleb Holt, a fireman who is emotionally distant, does little around the home and has been addicted to pornography. His addiction and indifference take a toll on his wife, Catherine, who becomes disillusioned with their marriage. She starts getting attracted to a young doctor, Gavin Keller, whom she meets at work.

The tension between husband and wife escalates gradually, with constant shouting and snapping at each other. This worsens when Caleb insists on saving up a huge sum of money to buy a fishing boat, despite the fact that Catherine’s stroke-ridden mother needs expensive hospital equipment. During a particularly bad argument, Catherine throws in the towel. She wants a divorce and removes her wedding ring.

As Caleb relates the situation of his failed marriage to his parents, his father tells him to hold off the divorce for forty days. He urges Caleb to take up the “Love Dare”, which is a 40-day challenge to save his marriage.

At first, Caleb takes up the challenge rather reluctantly, doing daily acts of love like buying flowers and making a cup of coffee for his wife. His heart is not in it and he is merely doing it to please his father. By the time day 20 arrives, Catherine and Gavin have fallen in love, as she is made to believe that he has paid for her mother’s hospital equipment. Catherine is intent on divorcing Caleb.

At this point, Caleb is frustrated and the situation seems hopeless. However, his dad encourages him to give God a try. At his wit’s end, Caleb invites God into his life. He gets genuinely serious about changing himself, even to the point of smashing his computer (which he uses to feed his sexual addiction) with a baseball bat.

Catherine sees Caleb’s change of attitude but remains unconvinced. Days later, she finds out that it was actually Caleb who paid for her mother’s hospital equipment. Genuinely convinced of Caleb’s sincerity, she then puts on her wedding ring again.

The movie ends with both of them embracing in the fire station.

It is interesting to note that the crew of this film is made up of committed Christians. A collaboration between Samuel Goldwyn Films and Sherwood Pictures, the production relied heavily on church volunteers, with Kirk Cameron (Caleb) being the only professional actor.

Driven by Cameron’s belief that a man should not kiss a woman other than his wife, the producers got his real wife, Chelsea Noble, to replace Erin Bethea, his on-screen wife, for the scene where we see their silhouettes embracing and kissing passionately.

Recipient of the Best Feature Film Award at the San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival, Fireproof opened in theatres on September 26, 2008, and was reported by the Wall Street Journal to be the highest grossing independent film in 2008 in the United States.

This movie is no Slumdog Millionaire, but its emphasis on the sanctity of marriage rings clear throughout. A must watch for married and courting couples who are seeking to overcome the “perturbations of love”, in the words of author C.S. Lewis.

Singles and married couples alike will learn valuable lessons as they witness the reconciliation of two broken people. God can heal a broken relationship—even if it seems irreconcilable—if we follow His ways.

True love isn’t seeking what’s best for you but what’s best for your partner. To make a success of marriage, you must first understand how to love someone and that comes from knowing God who loves us unconditionally.

The tagline in this movie “FIREPROOF” is Never Leave Your Partner Behind. For fireman Caleb, this means he should not leave his colleague behind while they are fighting a blaze. It can also mean he should not to leave his life partner but be tenacious in working through marital conflict.

1 comment:

  1. How far are we willing to go … how much are we willing to sacrifice to mend a broken marriage?