August 28, 2019 ·
Overcomer offers up good life lessons for all, besides Christians.
Alex Kendrick and his dedicated crew of film makers, have always emphasized to non-Christians, as well as true Christians, that trials, tribulations, and life struggles do not miraculously vanish once a person gives his life to the Lord Jesus Christ. Born again children of God (including yours’ truly) still have problems. We just have Jesus to help us through them all.
Affirm/Provident Films’ Overcomer, similar to their previous faith based films, portrays the reality of struggle within a Christ like community through a seemingly objective narrative that many of us (Christian or not) can relate to. After a rather disappointing opener involving the Brookshire Christian School basketball team, Alex Kendrick’s Coach Harrison and his fellow colleagues must endure the even more disappointing news that the manufacturing plant, Franklin town’s major employer, is about to bail, suddenly leaving many with no jobs.
When many of his basketball teams’ parents decide to pack up because of the unexpected crisis, Harrison becomes a coach without a team. Supplemented by another, seriously abrupt financial bombshell, John Harrison becomes so despaired, the seemingly surmounting problems starts effecting his family life. Thus, He and his wife Amy (Sharie Rigby) decide that it’s time for some equally serious prayer about what to do.
Amidst all this mental chaos, could be a solution. At least to the sports team situation. Since basketball has now faded out, the only other sports program available is Cross Country. Naturally, Harrison is immediately reluctant to coach when asked by Brookshire’s Principal Olivia Brooks; he doesn’t even regard track as a sport. And there’s only one student who’s even remotely qualified as a team member.
Most likely, anyone would think that someone asthmatic like Hannah Scott (Aryn Wright-Thompson) could scarcely satisfy the requirements of a track runner, or even harbor several other personal problems devoid of any health issues, including the very loving but rather secretive grandmother (Denise Armstrong) she lives with. Nonetheless, despite the various concerns, Hannah definitely has the skills of a Cross Country competitor. And she’s worth Coach Harrison’s time.
The only trouble, besides those already mentioned, is that Hannah is a team of one. Unlike the competing schools which have real teams with multiple members, Hannah is definitely a solitary runner. And suffering from asthma doesn’t exactly help, but she does manage to impress.
Through God’s help, although some non Christians would attribute it to fate, Coach Harrison receives crucial help from an unexpected source while visiting a hospital. It’s certainly no “accident” that the basketball coach, reluctantly turned track mentor enters the room of Thomas Hill. He is suffering from diabetes, and is blind as a result, but, coincidentally seems to be quite the expert in cross country running. Something that John desperately needs asap.
It’s still a struggle of course, and star/ director Alex Kendrick maintains that same dramatic flair equal to any other Hollywood produced film. And always with a sufficient touch of good, lighthearted humor to make you laugh. All, or most of the players are Christians, but Kendrick is always careful to emphasize that Christians are human too (James 5:17), subject to un-Christlike behavior. Just like non Christians.This is especially prevalent involving an extremely tense situation between Hannah and her grandmother.
Many may regard Overcomer,as a proverbial “preaching to the choir” type move. After all, it is faith based on the Bible and the Lord Jesus Christ. But the differences stop there. The story (written by Alex and his brother Stephen) with all the characters’ dedication to their beliefs, offers up good life lessons for all who are experiencing that thing called life.