(Film artwork courtesy of redeeminglovemovie.com)
Film Review – “Redeeming Love”
By Brisa Aguirre
* Warning this article contains content for mature audiences only as well as spoilers. Marked Ministry Online Magazine is not sponsored or endorsed by the following filmmakers or Francine Rivers. Views and opinions expressed here are made independently from filmmakers, Francine Rivers, and its affiliates. Filmmakers and Francine Rivers hold all rights for the film, story, and artwork.
***Disclaimer: Marked Ministry does not recommend watching this film if you have experienced sex addiction for a trigger warning and cautions you to see the film if you have experienced sexual trauma, domestic violence, or any type of abuse also as a trigger warning.
“Redeeming Love” is a film based on a well-known novel by Christian author Francine Rivers. She also wrote the screenplay for the movie. What most people may not know is the novel is inspired by the book of Hosea in the Bible. The film’s two main stars are Abigail Cowen who plays Angel and Tom Lewis playing Michael Hosea. They portray a sex worker (Angel) and a god-fearing farmer (Michael Hosea). The setting takes place in the mid-1800s gold rush in California. The film is rated PG-13. But these days this rating does not mean much as this film has several risque scenes. It is important to remember as you watch the film as an adult that this is the reality of a sex worker.
Exposed to prostitution as a child, Angel is ushered into that life after her mother’s passing. Years later reuniting with her father in the most unfortunate way she leaves from one brothel to another to escape her pursuers. Michael Hosea, in want of a wife, asks God for one. Seeing Angel one day in town, he knew she was to be his wife- even after knowing her profession. They get married but Angel insists on leaving her new, peaceful home. She leaves several times and Michael Hosea convinces her to come home. After one of her getaways, Angel is forced back into her old life. Not knowing about this, Michael doesn’t go after her this time. But God has a purpose for her.
Angel’s upbringing led her to believe the way she lived was all there is. From her experience, all men were the same greedy, lustful men. After marrying Michael Hosea she wanted to pay him back with intercourse. He declines on those terms. She still has a promiscuous mentality until she sees her husband crying in the barn one night. With conviction, she bathes in a heartbreaking scene trying to scrub her old life away saying, “I’m not clean.” At this point, she is aware of her impurity and tries to rectify herself. Throughout the story, Michael Hosea remains patient and does not give up.
If romance is removed from the film there is a reflection of God and people. There is love and redemption (hence the title). Angel is a representation of humanity. And much like characters in the Bible, some fell from grace. But because of God’s faithfulness they are redeemed. Michael Hosea has God’s traits. In Michael Hosea, we see love, patience, and faithfulness. We can clearly see the core message of the film is the love of God.
“Redeeming Love” is worth watching if you have not seen it. This film will have you feeling all kinds of emotions. The lack of purity plays a huge role and it gives us a reason to reflect on purity in our own lives. If you ever feel dirty, unworthy, and so far from purity? The Bible says this: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness (ESV 1 John 1:9).” We have a God who is a redeemer. He is not going to give up loving us no matter how impure we believe we are. The blood of Christ washes away our sins.