I apologize for my absence from these blogs! My friend (a pastor in Danville) and I have been investing most of our creative energy that we don’t need for our jobs into a new podcast that we have been having a blast working on!
But then it struck me. Why don’t I share some of that content on these blogs so that we can keep the blogs going? And so that’s just what I will do! As often as I’m able, I will be sharing some of the ideas that we’ve come up with from our podcast.
You might be wondering what content we share on our podcast. Well, we call it Behind the Silver Screen and we have conversations that look at movies through a spiritual lens. We explore themes that are presented in secular movies because we cannot help but share our worldviews through the stories we tell. And we believe that God can be found in absolutely any expression of humanity. He is reaching out to us from the depths of our souls as we try and make sense of the world around us, whether or not we believe He exists.
So, today, I am going to share my “takeaway” from Rob Reiner’s 1987 American fantasy adventure comedy, which was the 3rd episode of our podcast. Feel free to listen if you would like to hear more about the movie itself and any plot points that you’re curious about or if you would like to hear our conversation that develops a variety of themes throughout. I hope you enjoy thinking critically about the content! Feel free to comment, share any thoughts, or leave information on whatever movies you would like to hear about in the future!
THE PRINCESS BRIDE –
Official plot summary:“A fairy tale adventure about a beautiful young woman and her one true love. He must find her after a long separation and save her. They must battle the evils of the mythical kingdom of Florin to be reunited with each other. Based on the William Goldman novel “The Princess Bride” which earned its own loyal audience.”
It struck upon this most recent viewing of the movie (of innumerable viewings) that The Princess Bride can be seen as a medieval retelling/illustration of Scripture. Ok – so that doesn’t mean that every detail fits, but hear me out:
- We, Christians, are Fred Savage, the grandson. We were sick. We needed a story that would join us in the struggle.
- Our grandpa, Peter Falk, represents the spiritual mothers and fathers in the Church who deliver this story to us.
- Buttercup might represent the early Church. They were the recipient of love in the story as we look back at it and read it.
- Wesley is the Christ-figure who is basically unstoppable while he tries to save Buttercup, or the Church, from desperation.
- The story that the grandpa brings? That’s Scripture. It’s full of adventure and hope. It gives the sick person something to draw them out of their story and into the love story between Buttercup and Wesley, or Christ and the Church.
- Prince Humperdink and all of his lackeys would be Satan, or possibly just the general concept of the flesh.
Even outside of the characters, things hold up relatively well.
- Think about how Humperdink “wins” and basically kills Wesley (our Christ-figure). But then what happens? He’s brought back. Not by a mutton, lettuce, and tomato sandwich, but by true love.
- As they’re heading back to get Buttercup, Max and Valerie see them off and say, “Have fun storming the castle!” This reminds me of how the gates of hell can’t prevail against the Church.
- We’ve got the “mawiage” between Humperdink (representing the flesh) and Buttercup (the early Church) that’s a sham. Wesley, or Jesus, won’t allow that marriage to stand.
- Finally, switching up the roles a bit and allowing Inigo to play our Christ-figure, out of allegiance to his father, Inigo won’t accept money or power or anything else by compromising with the Count. That reminds me of the scene where, out of allegiance to His Father, Jesus refuses the temptations of Satan.
So, what are your thoughts? Can The Princess Bride be seen as a medieval retelling or illustration of Scripture? Is the grandpa, who brings this book as a gift and uses it so say he loves his grandson (“as you wish”) similar to our Scriptures that communicate God’s love to our own sickness?
You can find our podcast at the following link: https://behindthesilverscreen.buzzsprout.com/
Love you all,
Pastor Evan McNeff