EDITOR'S NOTE: To read the Baptist Press feature on "Not Today," click here.
STARRING: Cody Longo, Walid Armini, Persis Karen, John Schneider, Shari Rigby, Cassie Scerbo. Written & directed by Jon Van Dyke. 118 minutes. Opens April 12.
STUDIO FILM SYNOPSIS: Living as large as any 20-year-old could dream, Caden Welles' expectations of a never-ending party in India crash hard -- but not as hard as his conscience when he refuses to help a starving man and his little girl. After he discovers the father has sold his daughter, thinking she is going to a better life, not one of slavery, Caden is shocked, unnerved and guilt-ridden.
Attempting to right his wrong, Caden's eyes are forced open to a world few Americans know exists: the thriving human-trafficking trade. Spurred by a true purpose, an unlikely friendship, and the prayers of his mother and girlfriend, Caden leads an unlikely search for the girl.
REVIEW: "Not Today" is not without its cinematic faults. At times early on, it seems stilted, choppy. And the lead is one-dimensional (in the opening scenes), and a little too unlikable. But the film turns a corner, becoming an engaging acknowledgement/reminder of an unbelievable crime that exists worldwide -- human trafficking.
The acting also sparks up as if all before the camera were suddenly being directed, not just photographed. It eventually becomes a movie showing naive people coming face-to-face with injustice, not just an agenda-driven commercial for a well-intentioned organization.
Not Today gets us involved in the story and characterizations. What's more, the film battles our indifference, our self-involvement and our cynicism. We're Americans and, despite our foibles, of which some of our own countrymen think we have in abundance, we have a compassion for our fellow man like no other country. We are generous of spirit and, once made aware of a problem, we fix it. Or at least try. And occasionally a movie can be an insightful telegram.
Not Today presents the problem, and then suggests ways we can solve it. My advice -- see the film. And before you attend, pray the Holy Spirit will direct you. Who knows, seeking ways to battle evil deeds could become a ministry for you.
In addition to writing for Baptist Press, Phil Boatwright reviews films for www.previewonline.org. He is also a regular contributor to "The World and Everything In It," a weekly radio program from WORLD News Group. Get Baptist Press headlines and breaking news on Twitter (@BaptistPress), Facebook (Facebook.com/BaptistPress ) and in your email ( baptistpress.com/SubscribeBP.asp).
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