4 Things You Should Know about The Blind

Phil and Kay are a young couple in love in 1960s America. They're also a young couple in trouble. Recently married and raising small children, they struggle to pay the bills and put food on the table, largely due to Phil's alcoholism and his regular fits of rage.

First, Phil worked in a school. Then, he worked as a fisherman. Then, he worked in a bar. Nothing, though, has helped him settle down.

Of course, Phil regularly gets a paycheck, but he often blows it before he even gets home -- on beer, whiskey, and women. Alcohol turns him into a monster. And now, he's so angry that he's booted Kay and the kids from the house. Never mind that it's the middle of the night, raining. Kay later says that she can see "Satan in his eyes." Will they ever reconcile?

It's all part of the new faith-based movie The Blind.

Here are four things you should know about it:

Photo credit: ©Fathom; used with permission.

1. It's the Backstory of a Well-Known Family

1. It's the Backstory of a Well-Known Family

Phil and Kay Robertson and their extended family welcomed Americans into their homes in Duck Dynasty from 2012 to 2017, showcasing the wise-cracking wisdom of the patriarch and matriarch but also the crazy antics of their sons (Willie, Jase, and Jep) and extended families. (Uncle Si -- Phil's brother -- was a fan favorite.)

The Blind tells us the backstory of Phil and Kay -- how they fell in love, why they nearly separated, and what it took to rescue their marriage.

Aron von Andrian and Amelia Eve portray the young adult versions of Phil and Kay. Both are spectacular. Andrew Hyatt, who directed Paul, Apostle of Christ (2018), helmed The Blind. The script is gripping.

Photo credit: ©Fathom; used with permission.

2. It's Gritty and Raw

2. It's Gritty and Raw

You can't tell the story of an angry drunk man in a G-rated movie. The Blind doesn't sugarcoat Phil's dark past, although their relationship does begin innocently.

Phil, the star high school quarterback, goes on his first date with Kay to a restaurant, where we quickly learn of their different demographics: Kay, who comes from a more wealthy family, has the money to pay for the meal, while Phil -- who the elementary school bullies called "riff-raff" -- does not. A few dates later, we see them kissing in a car, and a few scenes after that, we learn that Kay is pregnant. They marry. (She was a junior in high school with a baby on the way.)

They struggle financially in their new home, with Phil taking a job at a bar and then at a local high school, where he becomes friends with a male colleague who invites him out for drinks. The two become regular "drinking friends," with Phil often arriving back home late at night, drunk.

From there, Phil takes a job as a fisherman and then as a bar owner but cannot kick his drinking habit. He spends his paychecks on booze.

Unfortunately, alcohol takes over his life, turning him into a man who loves beer more than his boys. (In one scene, he declines to take his young son hunting, instead wanting to spend time with friends.) Alcohol also turns him into an angry man. We see him screaming at Kay. We watch as he throws bottles.

"He becomes the devil," Kay tells Si.

We also see him kick a well-meaning pastor out of the bar, even threatening to punch him. ("Preachers ain't welcome around here," he tells the minister, who had entered the establishment to talk sense into Phil.)

Eventually, Phil boots Kay and the boys out of his home. He decides to live on his own. That night, Kay seems to contemplate suicide (she stares at a bottle of pills) but is stopped by a friend.

The Blind includes minor language (details below).

Photo credit: ©Fathom; used with permission.

3. It's a Powerful Story of Redemption

3. It's a Powerful Story of Redemption

Phil Robertson finds Christ in the film, but only after hitting rock bottom. By then, he is living alone in a trailer in the woods, his "home" filled with bottles and trash, and his face so dirty and unkempt that he is unrecognizable. When Si and the boys come to visit, Phil weeps when they refuse to hug him.

At that point, Kay had taken a job and moved to a house near a church that had embraced her and the boys. Kay had not, though, given up on her marriage. ("Dear Jesus, please make my daddy a good man," one of the boys prays.)

When Phil asks her to take him back, she offers stipulations: "Phil, you need help -- more help than me and the boys can give you. You need to change."

Toward the end of the film, Phil is baptized -- in the waters of a Louisiana swamp.

The Blind reminds us that no one is beyond redemption and that everyone deserves a second chance. It shows us the power of the body of Christ. (A local pastor reaches out to Phil and then to Kay.) It also urges us to fight for our marriages and families through the stresses and trials of life.

The real-life Kay Robertson told Crosswalk that she walked away from Phil for a brief period but never gave up on him. Today, she says, he regularly thanks her for her patience and perseverance, especially in light of their many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

"Phil will say, 'I can't believe that we almost lost this, and now look what we have.' He tells me on a regular basis, 'I'm so glad you stayed with me. I'm so glad you fought for our marriage.' That's what I want people to know."

Photo credit: ©Fathom; used with permission.

4. It Ends with an Emotional Punch

4. It Ends with an Emotional Punch

The final few moments of The Blind point toward the faith-centric family we remember from Duck Dynasty.

When Phil's drinking buddies pull up in front of his house one morning wanting to party, he tells them, "The fellow you've come looking for is dead and buried." (He then wakes his sons and takes them to hunt.) Moments later, we see family and friends gathered around an outdoor table as they pass around the food, just as each episode of Duck Dynasty ended.

After the movie ends, the real-life Phil Robertson appears briefly on screen, sharing the gospel as only he can.

The Blind isn't the type of movie that children of all ages can watch. It is, though, the type of movie you watch to be reminded of the power of Christ. For that alone, it's one that deserves your attention.

Rated PG-13 for thematic content and smoking. Coarse language: d--n (2), h-ll (4), s--t (1).

Discussion questions: Did Kay do the right thing? What role did Phil's friends play in his destructive path? What does the movie teach, if anything, about the dangers of alcohol? What does the movie teach about grace and second chances?

Entertainment rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Family-friendly rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Watch the trailer here.

Photo credit: ©Fathom; used with permission.

 

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