When I heard about the movie, “War Room,” I figured it was just another faith-based attempt to proselytize to those who don’t subscribe to the tenets of any religion.
Honestly, it wasn’t an event on the top of my list. However, my wife, who has enough faith for both of us, urged me to see it with her. We called a couple of friends of ours and decided to attend a matinee and go to dinner afterward.
First, let me say the movie was much more powerful than I could have imagined. Tony and Elizabeth Jordan, an upwardly mobile couple with a young daughter named Danielle, who live in a beautiful home, drive expensive cars and appear to the world as a typical American success story, are actually dealing with severe marital problems.
Tony, a successful pharmaceutical salesman and Elizabeth, a real estate agent who’s always on the go, have little time to spend with Danielle, or with each other. They go to church regularly, but, like many people, they do so in a perfunctory way, as though it’s a behavior expected from members of a stable community.
When Liz starts feeling that her marriage is falling apart, she happens upon Clara, a client who is putting her home up for sale. An older and wiser woman, Clara instinctively feels the pain being experienced by Liz, and decides to intervene. The War Room is a closet in Clara’s home that serves as her place to ask for divine guidance. She shows Elizabeth how she can start fighting for her family instead of against them.
As the plot unfolds, we see Liz become invigorated by faith and struggle against the forces that have taken hold of her family. Her husband, who is being influenced by another woman at his office, begins to contemplate an affair. When Liz learns of this she begins to put the power of prayer to work with a newly energized belief system. When she empties a closet and makes her own War Room out of it, you’ll want to jump out of your seat and yell, “Hallelujah!”
Clara’s message to her is that God calls us to pray, not to change people and that her battle isn’t with Tony, but it’s with the devil who has taken control of her house and her marriage. The highly charged, magnificently acted and emotionally captivating scenes that follow will find you dabbing at your eyes and swallowing hard. Reaching in my back pocket for a handkerchief would be too demonstrative, so I casually, but furtively, moved a hand up to my eyes several times for a quick, and hopefully unnoticed swab.
Women have no need for such pretensions, so the audible sounds of tissues being unfurled were evident nearby. It’s not that I’m ashamed to cry, it’s just that I know how emotional I can be, so, if I don’t fight to hold it in, I’m liable to choke up and begin blubbering like a child.
With all the gratuitous sex and violence that has permeated the culture for the past half century, it’s mentally rewarding to spend some time watching a movie that nourishes the human spirit and provides entertainment that leaves you with some hope for the future of mankind. If you have any faith in a higher power, irrespective of how you practice it, you will come out of this movie a better person than you were when you went in.
Even if you’re inclined toward agnosticism, you will enjoy the marvelous performances and the gut-crunching realism of a family in crisis and the remedies they use to break free of the temptations that seek to pull them apart. I sincerely hope that millions of people view this thought-provoking and unabashedly spiritual film. It has a way of cleaning the mind and making room for a rebirth of values. I know its impact will remain with me for a long time.
Bob Weir is a long-time Flower Mound resident and former local newspaper editor.