The film won a lot of acclaim. It is excellent, but it displays the signs of the times, the current ideology throughout the world: animosity against the Christian religion. The church of Jesus Christ is portrayed as heinous. A contrast is drawn between a traditional church and the passion and power of music. Music wins with the greatest of ease.
The Minister, Stig, is pictured as a man with his own conflicts: he does the traditional things expected of one in his position, but his life is in poor straights. He is the villain filled with jealousy, lust, aggression and suspicion. The great musician, Daniel, on the other hand, who is supposed to be the ‘wreck’, turns out to be the hero. Through his passion and music, all the problems of the people in the choir come to light. Then they are handled one by one. A wonderful freedom and release comes to each person. But it is not Jesus Christ, the Son of God and Redeemer of mankind who gives this release, but music. On the contrary the church could not address anyone’s problems. When Daniel is fired by the jealous minister, everybody leaves with him. And the viewer’s heart agrees, because the minister and his one or two loyal parishioners are WRONG! Once again the subtle indoctrination and derision against the church was successful.
The respected minister, Stig, is the first to welcome the world renowned conducter, Daniel Dareus to his childhood village and give him a Bible. But Stig is connected right there, at the beginning, with Conny, the cruel bully, wife beater and abuser. It is as if the story introduces the two villains of the village. The one is as bad as the other. Both are unfair and avengers. The one bullies physically and the other psychologically. To illustrate this, Conny uses the minister’s gun to shoot a beautiful white, wild hare, kill it by hitting it against the porch and then presenting it to the minister as his Christmas hare! The minister accepts with grace.
Stig’s character as an incompetent spoil sport is clearly portrayed.
- After giving him the post of cantor, he is the first to turn against Daniel, deposing him. His sin is that he is too successful with the choir.
- Stig and his wife do not live the married life the Bible teaches, namely in fidelity and love. He is addicted to pornography, and refuses to enjoy his wife physically.
- When his wife Inger, leaves to sing with the choir, he threatens to shoot Daniel and himself.
- He is left without a congregation when the choir decides to follow Daniel and continue to take part in the choir competition in Austria.
- Stig does not display the love of Jesus Christ, but only formal church ritual.
Lena is a beautiful young woman, but lives an immoral life. Her character is handled with compassion and understanding. It is explained that her parents died when she was a child; she lived with the doctor in the village for two years, but did not know that he was married with children. Her many boyfriends are probably the reaction of her broken heart. She is depicted as the kind and compassionate heroine of the story, who has a heart for the retarded Tore. Eventually she wins the love of Daniel and they sleep together the night before Daniel’s death. This is the typical rejection of God’s command for marriage: it is a sealed covenant between a man and a woman, where each partner swears to stay loyal to the other for life. All physical sexual relationships outside such a covenant are forbidden by God, because they lead to heart break and unhappiness and God loves people so much that He wants to spare them that.
The film is an excellent portrayal of the typical anti-God attitude so prevalent in our time. Many Christians do not realize that there is an intense battle between the devil and God. The devil, who controls the world, is intent on lying to, and deceiving, people. Is this film another reason to reject the church? No! That would be a flimsy excuse. Jesus never told us in the Bible to fix our eyes on fallen church leaders, but on Him as the Redeemer (Hebrew 12:1-4). The film reminds Christians to double or treble their efforts and loyalty towards Christ with the help of the Holy Spirit. When we die, the opportunity to improve our relationship with God is over for ever. We can never come back for another opportunity again. The death of Michael Jackson is another grim reminder that this life is temporary. He was the world’s darling, but if he missed heaven because he had no relationship with Jesus, it will be terrible. Eulogies at a grave do not guarantee a relationship with Jesus. Just as in the film, it is not the ritual, but the relationship, the love for Jesus that changes a person’s heart.