Movie Commentary: Bella


From time to time on this blog I will make comments on movies, television shows, or other culturally significant issues. When I make comments on a movie I am not going to censor content. So if you do not want content spoiled it is best to read my thoughts after viewing said movie.  If I think a movie is not worth viewing I will state so up front.

            This weekend I watched the movie Bella with my wife and mother.  I had heard good things about this movie and heard it had a strong positive pro-life,  even pro-God/Christianity message. 

            In watching the film, I found the message to be rather straight forward. In terms of the message of the film I found it to be a mixed bag.  On the positive side, the movie definitely has a strong pro-life message. It stresses the importance of relationships and the value of life.  I did find the movie to contain more elements of kharmatic thought over essential Christian themes. 

            The main character essentially saves the life of a child, in essence undoing the life he cost.  It came off as promoting the good done to replace the bad. Some elements of it would seem to fit into an episode of  My Name is Earl without the humor. 

            It do admit that the movie does have a strong positive message. It does a good job of showing a character moving beyond being wrapped up in self and reaching out to others but again it comes off more as kharmatic versus essential Christianity. The main character even is shown with a guru-like, messiah type persona. Perhaps you could stretch the presentation to have allegorical references but the essential themes of the film do seem to fit kharmatic line of thought.

            In terms of the pro-life message I did find it to have value. However, I look at the content of the film and the emphasis on the life of the child and I see the persistent cultural theme of having a child is the apex of humanity. The film does a good job of contrasting selfish pursuit versus looking out for others. However, I do not see complete selflessness in the film. 

            The film did have some moments referencing God, including a blind-man interacting with the two main characters with a sign behind him stating “God made me blind so that I might see” (any errors are do to my faulty memory.)  If anyone who reads this blog and has different thoughts please share them. Am I missing something in this film?  Is the value of this film simply the pro-life message?  I would appreciate any comments.

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2 Responses

  1. I do not think that the message was so much “kharmatic,” as a journey of one man to emotionally rebuild himself. He was living with the guilt of his actions for a long time, and adopting the child wasn’t his attempt to make ammends for the past, but rather to move forward without allowing others to make destructive decisions too. The movie did not imply that Jose spent his days trying to even out his slice of kharma, but rather that he was deeply concerned about people. He scolds his brother for not knowing his employees. He reaches out to Nina. And the movie’s tag line is: One Person Can Change Your Life Forever. Bella does support a Christian world view (emphasis on relationships), and not one that is based on the premise that works alone can save.

  2. I can see your point, but the importance of relationships is not necessarily a Christian world view. Surrender of self to God is a Christian world view. Considering others more important then self also can be a Christian world view. The “kharmatic” aspect more fell in line with his taking the life of a child and in end saves the life of a child. The movie has plenty of positive social messages However, the tag of One Person Can Change Your Life Forver, is one I could easily hear on Oprah. I was personally disappointed in the film and definitely enjoy hearing other perspectives. Now, perhaps it can be argued that Joes moved beyond self focus to ther focus, but again that is not necessarily a Christian theme, although rooted in Christianity. Perhaps I had expectations for a clear message or perhaps the movie reflects what is happening within parts of Christianity, that the Christian message get mixed in with other concepts.

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