...shining light on the media, one review at a time
“I have a dream.” Martin Luther King, Jr.’s famous words were likely so memorable, at least in part, because of their relatability. Almost everyone has a dream or had one at one time. During the course of a life, some dreams change, a few are attained, and some, perhaps most, are never realized. But what if a person’s dream is for something good? Doesn’t that mean he or she should get it?
Christy Davis thinks so. All she has wanted since she was a little girl is to be a mother. She got married to her husband, Matt, according to plan, but the most important end goal is still missing—she is childless. After a seemingly countless number of visits to a fertility clinic, Christy is losing hope. When her sister announces a third pregnancy, Christy falls into despair. Then a friend suggests adoption.
Christy and Matt desperately want their own baby, but Christy begins to realize that the option of having some baby is better than no baby. She decides that she can settle for adoption. Determined to find an infant to adopt, Christy and Matt start their search through the usual government adoption avenues, only to be told it’s nearly impossible to get a normal, healthy baby through that channel, since older kids or children with difficulties more frequently need families.
Not to be deterred from their dream, the Davis’s turn to private adoption and are soon connected with a birth mother who will surrender her baby when the child is born. Just when it seems as if Christy’s lifelong desire for motherhood is going to come true, unthinkable tragedy shatters the dream and, with it, Christy’s reason for living. Plunged into depths of agony she has never experienced, Christy loses sight of God and everything beyond her emotional pain. But God works in unexpected ways, and it takes another tragic event to help Christy see the dream God has for her.
At forty-five minutes, Paper Dream comes short of feature length, but the film’s production values are of feature-like quality, matching those of secular television dramas and some movies that make the big screen. The strong cast is of particular note, since acting is often a weak point in Christian films. Not so in Paper Dream, which features impeccable performances from even actors in small, supporting roles.
Sarah Karjian as Christy tops them all with an authentic, moving realization of this demanding role. The character of Christy goes to emotional places many actors are not ready to face, but Karjian dives right in to deliver a memorable performance.
Thanks to a skillfully written, layered story and excellent acting, Paper Dream is a stunning film that sends a powerful pro-life, pro-adoption message. But, unlike some other recent films that may sound similar, this movie’s themes are not confined to abortion.
Paper Dream’s core message is much broader, addressing the larger issue of how to live in a world of disappointment and suffering. We all have dreams, but Paper Dream shows that what they are and where we look for their fulfillment can mean either despair or eternal joy. What is your dream?
(Note: Be sure to stick around through the closing credits to catch a brief, but important epilogue scene that delivers an extra punch for the pro-adoption theme.)