The Meek Is What Happens When Vision Meets Execution
“The Meek shall inherit the earth” – Matthew 5:5
In Christianity, when it comes to the idea of guidance in life, it’s generally accepted that God guides people all the way through their lives. Jesus is the model for how to be guided by God, and his understanding of the will of God comes from careful study of scripture. Jesus’ authority comes from his close relationship with God and God gives people signs that he is in fact guiding them, but has also endowed people with common sense to act.
This is anathema to Karma, a fundamentalist Buddhist doctrine, which is the law of moral causation. Karma is the result of our own past actions and our own present doings. We ourselves are responsible for our own happiness and misery. We create our own Heaven. We create our own Hell. We are the architects of our own fate.
From writer, director and Emmy nominated producer Harold Jackson III, The Meek stars Shaun Woodland, Brandi Cohen, Eli El, and Danny Gavigan. It looks to answer the question as to whether we are all apart of God’s plan or if we are the manufacturers of our own destinies. Woodland, El and Gavigan give compelling performances as protagonist ex-con Josh, the pastor he forges a relationship with, and the drug addict villain seeking revenge against Josh for the killing of his brother which resulted in the death of Josh’s young daughter.
The fact that Jackson wrote, directed, and produced the Meek is actually as important as the movie itself. This is his vision executed by the troupe of actors he chose under the budget he constructed. This is a movie that I loved far more than I should have, but it’s certainly not perfect. My awe of the cinematography in spite of a tight budget swept me through the verbosity of the preacher and his sermons which probably could have been edited better. Cohen is beautiful and no doubt talented; but unfortunately, her performance falls a little flat as Josh’s romantic lead with a past of her own which is never really developed.
The chemistry between Woodland and El is so good that you would think they would have worked together before. The scene where they are at the Pastor’s house and he reveals his love of cooking, penchant for weed, and his own demons leave a lasting impression on both Woodland and Cohen as well as the audience. While the romantic relationship between Woodland and Cohen falls flat, it is the relationship between Woodland and El that carries the movie.
In the end, Woodland, El, Gavigan and Cohen’s characters all share the same fate making the question of whether they have agency over their own lives or whether they are guided by a divine being almost pointless. Still, the ideas of revenge and atonement are enduring much like the movie itself. Go see The Meek.