“Some day you’re gonna hafta fight for your marriage,” Miss Kay Robertson says in Fathom Events latest film production THE BLIND which opened in US theaters September 28.
“When things get tough, that’s what you do- you fight…”
That sets the tone for this film which chronicles the story behind A&E’s Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson’s rise out of a broken home and alcoholism and his conversion to Christianity and the goodness that followed- including inventing a new type of duck caller that spawned a multimillion dollar empire and all the television fame attached.
Set in the 1960’s in the backwoods Louisiana bayou, the script (Stephanie Katz) follows Robertson from childhood in a single-parent home under direction of a mentally ill mother, to his meeting and marrying (despite parental objections due to class and socio-economic differences) his Christian sweetheart, “Miss Kay” Carroway, to his fall into alcoholism and fear of becoming mentally ill, and to his eventual hitting bottom and coming to faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of his life. Themes include true love, suffering hardship and the ways that can harm a marriage, and, ultimately redemption through Jesus Christ. Amelie Eve as Phil’s long-suffering and so incredibly beautifully loving wife Miss Kay crowns the film. Yes, this is Phil Robertson’s story, however despite the attention to the drama and the angst and the misbehavior given to the lead, Miss Kay just quietly adapts, carries on, reaches out, and makes some of the bravest decisions- gracefully, elegantly, and in a timely manner- that this film could be shown as instruction in schools, houses of worship, and other educational and helping institutions.
Opening with scenes of Phil Robertson (Aron Von Andrian) and his pal Big Al Bolen (Connor Tillman) duck hunting and seated side-by-side in a duck blind, the story is compellingly told in successive flashbacks. Robertson, now a multimillionaire Christian businessman icon, shares the story of his discovery of the invention that changes everything together with the stories that could have kept him held hostage to alcoholism and fear such that he might not have succeeded at anything. Nothing, it seems, is held back- from Robertson’s potential stardom as a high school football hero with contemporary future NFL star Terry Bradshaw, to his (spoiler alert) impregnating Miss Kay, and his decision to do “whatever it takes” to support his family (eventually, of wife and three boys…), including leaving behind a lucrative and glamorous professional football career.
THE BLIND has something for everyone: football, carousing at bars, drag racing (with a twist), bayou living in a trailer, fishing, hunting and, yes, romance along with the redemption. The story has a minute or two of lag, however there are outstanding moments (including- spoiler alert- Phil’s baptism by Pastor Bill Smith, played by John Ales) which more than balance this out; the overall cinematic product is so satisfying one doesn’t care. Further, the film is encouraging to anyone who might be struggling with challenges- addictions, a sense of something lacking in their lives, a longing for faith- and events on screen remind that, yes, there IS an answer…
A partnership production of Tread Lively, GND Media Group, and Fathom Events, THE BLIND netted $5.1 million in ticket sales at some 1700 theaters nationwide during premier events- and even garnered an impressive 99% rating from notoriously tough Rotten Tomatoes.
“The success of THE BLIND proves that audiences are hungry for honest and encouraging content,” said Zach Dasher, one of the film’s producers, and Phil Robertson’s nephew. “We want people everywhere to be reminded that there is hope, even when it seems impossible.”
The aim of cast and crew of THE BLIND is less than about monetizing Robertson’s story and more about showing “no one is beyond the grace of God, and no one is so far gone that they cannot turn their life around.”
Can’t think of a more important message at this time in our world.
Run Time 105 minutes and Rated PG-13- and not for young children due to some adult language and smoking and, in this reviewer’s opinion, domestic violence that could be triggering.
At a theater near you until October 15. For more information, visit: https://theblindmovie.com