Indie Film Review “Providence” 16

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First, the Recap:

Destiny. It’s a beautiful concept. Filled with so many fantastical possibilities, encompassing the ideas of the future and how it unfolds when it comes, especially, to relationships.  Finding “the one”. Meeting someone and just knowing it is meant to be. Yet, life is almost always not a simple path. And sometimes, a Divine hand has another plan for us while a perfect one is being prepared. For adults Rachel (Juli Tapken) and Mitchell (Rich Swingle), this design could not be more true. For as each experiences the wonders and trials of the chosen road they’re lead down from childhood, choices made and chance encounters along the way begin to meld into a tapestry and love as only God Himself could inspire.

A child Rachel’s (Emily Knapp) tender, giving, and joyful heart strives to survive a painful upbringing amidst a rather apathetic, non-understanding, and impatient mother (Irene Santiago), but a doting grandmother she treasures, who leads her to God. Likewise, a child Mitchell’s (Chase Anderson) experiences feeling unimportant and alone draw him to faith while raised by a single, weary, but loving mother. As loss and fighting for identity come about, teens Rachel (Stacey Bradshaw) and Mitchell (Josh Allen) follow different roads, hers to popularity, his to academia though still an outcast, noticing and interacting with each other along the way in multiple circumstances, as deeper infatuation takes hold. Bonding yet continually held apart, life lessons and events continue to move them forward into adulthood’s grasp.

Facing the culminations of their respective journeys with family, friendships, careers, relationships, and responsibilities, the final pieces begin to move into place by God’s providence to illustrate that the seasons and storms they’ve endured all prepared them for a love more real than either could have expected.

Next, my Mind:

Written and directed by Sharon Wilharm through the production company, Mainstreet Productions, founded by producer/cinematographer/editor husband Fred, “Providence” stands out as a unique addition to the faith-based, independently created films being released in theaters more and more over the past 2 years in that it is completely dialogue free. Relying solely on the actors’ body language, visual presence, and an eclectic soundtrack, the film successfully forgoes verbal play and replaces it with raw, emotional connection that will jump out and grab your heartstrings suitably well. Smoothly filmed and sticking with a rural atmosphere for its narrative, the down home tone of the effort makes it that much more relatable. Additionally, its deep themes of faith, patience, overcoming hardships, real love, and reliance on God are delivered strongly, but not overbearingly, which should appeal to a potentially wider audience.

Honestly, enough cannot be said for all the actors present in this story, as again, there isn’t a single moment of speaking, and therefore it all has to come together through the actions each character takes. Each incarnation of life presented for Rachel and Mitchell is wonderfully dramatized, and the unfolding beauty of their first meeting as children to the moment of “yours forever” connection as adults is a wonder to watch through both the acting and the varying music that follows their journey lyrically and/or stylistically.

Knapp and Anderson are adorable as the childhood pair, Bradshaw and Allen bring the realities of teenage existence to bear superbly and realistically, then Tapken and Swingle finish things as the adults in such a profoundly honest and frank way that the viewer cannot help but be entranced by all the events that lead them to the pivotal moments in their coming together. Of additional note, Santiago performs very admirably throughout the story as Rachel’s mother, aging and transforming across the 40-year span presented in a compelling manner.

In total, “Providence” is a charming, artistic, attractive, earnest, and innocently simple film with a deep, heartfelt message that this reviewer truly hopes will be embraced for its picture of a love born in the now, forged with care by one that is eternal.

As always, this is all for your consideration and comment.  Until next time, thank you for reading!





16 thoughts on “Indie Film Review “Providence”

  1. Reply Sharon Wilharm Dec 13,2015 1:45 am

    Thank you Kirk for such a beautiful review! You have such a way with words and I love reading your reviews.

    • Reply Dec 13,2015 2:20 am

      Again, thank you so much for the affirmation, Sharon! That means the world to me and I am so blessed to be a small part of your film’s journey!

  2. Reply Lanny Smith Dec 13,2015 2:10 am

    What a terrific review (and a well-written one too)!

    • Reply Dec 13,2015 2:22 am

      Thank you, Lanny! I appreciate that and the compliment. It helps me to know the evolution of my writing has finally gotten to where I want it to be!

  3. Reply Brianna Hope Beaton Dec 13,2015 5:35 am

    Mr. Ferwood. Thank you for this awesome review. It’s a beautiful film!.

    • Reply Dec 14,2015 4:11 am

      Hi, Brianna! You are so welcome! I was very moved by your film and I wrote that review accordingly! Best of luck to you in this and your future acting endeavors! God bless! 🙂

      • Reply Brianna Hope Beaton Mar 4,2016 3:56 am

        Mr. Ferwood,

        This is a little late, but I wanted to thank you for your wishes. I had a great time filming my piece and loved seeing the final production. God Bless you as well.

  4. Reply Juli Tapken Dec 14,2015 4:09 am

    You may have coined the phrase we’ve all been looking for to describe it, “Dialogue Free”. It’s perfect! So overjoyed you’got’ it and it touched you. Thank you again for your review!

    • Reply Dec 14,2015 4:14 am

      Hi, Juli! HA! Well, I will be even more blown away if I ended up coining a phrase you all choose to utilize! I figured it truly was a apropos description! And I, too, am glad to reflect a full understanding of what you were going for with the film! And it did touch me for sure…I may be a guy, but I am a HUGE sucker for a great love story! 🙂

  5. Reply Apolonia Davalos Dec 14,2015 5:02 am

    It was inspirational to read your review of “Providence”. Your reflection brings more life to the film. Thank you!

    • Reply Dec 15,2015 12:46 am

      Hi, Apolonia! Thank you so much for the kind words, as that truly means a lot to me as I continue this journey to ideally become a professional critic! I am blessed that you feel the insights and/or words I wrote brought the film to life! That is a wonderful compliment and humbling for me! Take care and God bless!

  6. Reply Irene Santiago Dec 14,2015 2:20 pm

    “…deep, heartfelt message…”
    Thank you for you review and kinds words. I can only speak for myself that I have grown richer by working with this wonderful cast of actors and the Wilharms. All an actor ever wishes for is for the audience to be affected by their work. God Bless. Thank you again. #attitudeofgratitude #abc

    • Reply Dec 15,2015 12:49 am

      Good evening, Irene!

      Thank you from the bottom of my heart for responding so positively to the review, as I cannot totally put into words how encouraging the affirmation is for my in my journey to become a professional reviewer! And if what I wrote equally blessed you as an actor, then I feel even more humbled to have been a part of this film’s journey! The genuineness of everyone associated with the film I have been in contact with has been top notch, God-centered, and amazing! Blessings to you, Irene!

  7. Pingback: In Their Own Words: Writer/Director Sharon Wilharm of “Providence” ← One Film Fan

  8. Reply Irene Santiago Dec 21,2015 3:44 pm

    ;-). You are welcome. Keep reviewing.

  9. Pingback: In Their Own Words: Actress Stacey Bradshaw of “Providence” ← One Film Fan

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