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Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Saved!

Saved!
Directed by Brian Dannelly
2004

Protagonist: Mary
Antagonist: Hilary Faye

Opening quote which gives the viewer an idea of what type of person Mary is: "I've been born again my whole life. Accepting Jesus into you heart and getting saved is a big decision -- Especially for a three year old. My father taught me that everything is a part of Gods plan. Mom said He even had a reason for taking my father to heaven. She explained daddy is with the angels. I wanted to be with the angels too but God had a different plan..."

Mary is the American girl next door in a highly religious community. What the community deems immoral and unacceptable becomes apparent as the movie progresses. She and her friends are anti-abortion and anti-gay. Christianity is the main motif and they've got religious propaganda all over the place. Her mother received the award as "Best Christian Decorator" which seems quite crazy.

While in the pool playing a confessional game in the pool, her boyfriend admits that he's gay and Mary has a vision. She has to save Dean from being immoral. When Mary researches the word "gay" on the internet, a bondage YMCA-like website comes up horrifying her and further consolidating the idea that she has to "save" him. Her solution is to have sex with him because it's the "direct approach". They have sex and the boyfriend does not protest as he was already horny from reading gay porn. Shortly afterward he is sent to a boarding school to reform him.

The movie plays to stereotypes--anyone who is not Christian is condemned etc. Dean is labeled a fagot and the Jewish girl is rumored to be a stripper and constantly hounded to recant her evil ways. Mary used to be like this, trying to save everyone, but as her pregnancy progresses she questioned the merits of a God who is so judgmental. She did not realise she was pregnant for months because the Christian school were only forced to do Sex Ed classes after she did the deed. She figured it out by watching television and got a pregnancy test which proved to be positive. While biking home with the test she chants "please let it be cancer" which goes to show how bad it would be if she were pregnant. At first she is angry and tries to find another explanation. Eventually she begins to accept the truth and realises that the labels everyone puts on a person is incorrect. Just because she had sex once did not make her loose or a slut like people assumed, it was just a fact of life.

With pregnancy Mary's character becomes more accepting of other people in society. She's always been dealt the upper hand. Her family and friends also become more aware that life doesn't go as God preaches, therefore they should understand a persons situation and not try to change or condemn them.

Mary hides most of her gestation, which indicates that it is an object of shame and she's afraid someone will notice. However, she doesn't have an abortion and remains optimistic about the baby. She is quite clueless, but I feel that she is willing to learn and will make an excellent mother.

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