The best storytelling shows, rather than merely describing. The Lost Medallion navigates what looked to be a tricky balance between telling and showing with admirable deftness. Rather than offer a detailed description of the film here, I wish instead to share my personal reaction. A well-written detailed review by film critic Richard Propes may be found here. My friend Karl Bastian also offers an excellent perspective on his blog here.
The film started slowly, but captured my interest when the foster care mom shared with her son the difficult histories of a couple of the kids. Who among us wouldn’t feel empathy for their loneliness and fearfulness?
He quickly was roped into telling all the kids a story, and thus began The Lost Medallion.
By the end of the film, here is what I discovered: I cared about the characters, especially Allie and Billy. I enjoyed the comedic moments, variously supplied by the cartoonish villains and the resourceful and wise Faleaka. I also appreciated that there was sufficient action to propel the narrative forward.
Although this definitely is a family-friendly film, parents and leaders should note that it is rated PG for adventure violence and action. The violence is not gratuitous, but it also is not merely implied. People die and no attempt is made to sugarcoat this fact. This gives the film credibility, but some parents may wish to screen the film first to determine whether they wish for their younger kids to see it.
The Lost Medallion gives me hope that Christian film-making continues to make positive strides toward gaining credibility to influence culture in wholesome, positive ways. This is a good thing. Go see the film and tell others about it, too. The tender-hearted may need a hanky at times, but more often, be prepared to laugh, and to wonder what will happen next. Imagine that: a Christian film which subverts the decades-long tendency of predictability by fully engaging viewers in the story.
I hope they make another one as a follow-up. I was sad to see it end, but hopeful that this is the beginning of an inspiring, captivating series.