Friday, September 16, 2011

Movie Review Friday: The Shunning

Hallmark knows their viewer's fascination with the Amish, so their latest work The Shunning is a film based on Beverly Lewis' three-part fiction series. Here is the film's synopsis:

Before she succumbs to cancer, the dying wish of Laura Mayfield-Bennett is to be reunited with the daughter she never knew. Unfortunately, that daughter, Katie Lapp, is a member of the Amish order. Katie is about to be married, but uneasy about the path ahead.  Now she discovers the secret her parents have kept from her: she's adopted. 
The film is based on the celebrated first novel of the best-selling "The Heritage of Lancaster County" book series from author Beverly Lewis. Stars Danielle Panabaker & Sherry Stringfield.

I had seen Hallmark's previous Amish film, Amish Grace, which, though heart-breaking, was an incredible story of forgiveness and grace. This film is similar, though different. Katie Lapp is Amish, and upon finding out about her biological mother, she desires to meet her before her death. Also, being a house-keeper for the "English," she learns some of their songs and owns a guitar. This, and wanting to step outside the Amish community is unacceptable to the Amish elders. In addition, she stuns the Amish community with her announcement that she would not marry the Bishop to whom she was engaged. The Amish community decides to shun her, but she refuses to make an apology, after she learns her true ancestory hidden from her birth.

The Shunning was a very captivating film with an interesting plot. I enjoyed watching Katie's persistance and the love her mother had for her despite Katie's anger at the Amish for their unjust behavior toward her. However, as the first in a three part series, I thought The Shunning ended too soon. Forgiveness and healing gave a somewhat satisfactory ending, but ended leaving you with two paths Katie could have taken.

In my opinion, this is an above-average Hallmark film, though I would have loved to see it extended by half-hour or so, to show the viewer the ending of Katie's story. Perhaps Hallmark will make films for the other two books in the Beverly Lewis series. Otherwise, this film is good but does not leave you with a complete answer to Katie's predicament. Personally, it was not a favorite of mine, and I found myself disappointed with the behavior of the Amish in this film and the abrupt ending.

Have you seen The Shunning? Leave me your thoughts!


"Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising." 

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