After reading some reviews and realizing that Clash of the Titans opens up next week, we caught a late showing of Ghost Writer, starring Ewan MacGregor, Kim Cattrall, Pierce Bronsman, and I knew I saw Jim Belushi. Checking the movie out on Flixster (iPhone App), it received a 78% user rating, higher than all the other current box office hits on the screen, so I was expecting great things. Descriptions of the movie portrayed Ghost Writer as a thriller, political thriller, but when the movie started I thought I walked into a comedy. Polanski kept the mood light on a usually intense topic. I was hoping it would have a more Bourne Identity feel. Being slightly disappointed, I tried to keep a positive outlook but the slow pace and story development made it tough to stay awake and I don't sleep through movies! I am glad I didn't because it did get better towards the last half hour.
MacGregor plays the Ghost, a Ghost writer who is hired to finish writing the memoirs of an ex-prime minister of England after the previous ghost died suspiciously. The ex-prime minister is in the middle of war crime allegations and the Ghost comes across some evidence that could incriminate the prime minister and his family. Ultimately, the Ghost discovers that the CIA influenced the ex-Prime minister decision making in order to benefit the USA.
Walking out of the movie theater, I felt as if I had just left an art gallery after admiring a forgettable piece of work. I will admit that Polanski's Ghost Writer is one of the more artistic movies I have seen in a while, which I appreciate but I felt like I was watching a play rather than a movie. One redeeming quality is that Ghost Writer is full of irony and I found my self chuckling quite often. Still, leaving the movie I felt like I was left with nothing to work with, no intriguing insight into the meaning of life or some great moral dilemma to pick sides. I figured I need to write this quick before I forget about it.
Now the real question is, as a follower of Christ, how do I respond? Ghost Writer portrays the consequences of seeking to build man's kingdom instead of God's Kingdom.
Human kind is easily blinded by the lust for power, wealth, and influence. Satan's most powerful weapon is distraction. Many believe that this world we live in is all we get and that the most important things in life are things and power over things. I love the bumper sticker that says the best things in life aren't things. Jesus reflects this in Matthew 16: 23- 28
23Jesus turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men."
24Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25For whoever wants to save his life[a] will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. 26What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? 27For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father's glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done. 28I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom."
In Matthew 19, Christ talks about how someone can get into Heaven and in verse 30 he says, "But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first." In the previous versus, Jesus was talking to a rich man and telling him to sell all his possessions.
Matthew 19: 20-24
20"All these I have kept," the young man said. "What do I still lack?"
21Jesus answered, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."
22When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.
23Then Jesus said to his disciples, "I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."
Satan is the king of lies and everyday we swallow the lies whole so that we can't see beyond our desires. We can't see the Truth that is hidden.
In Luke 19, we find that Jesus wept over the fact that the people he came to save were blind and would pay the consequences:
Luke 19: 41-44 "If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes. 43The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. 44They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God's coming to you."
My prayer is that those who are blinded by Satan would let Christ rub some mud in their eyes so that they may see that Christ is the True King and that they would have eternal life that is found only in Christ. Amen