Inside the ‘Duck Dynasty’ church
WEST MONROE, La. — Gasps of excitement wash over a…
The Robertsons, armed with their usual rifles and beards, have returned to tell the story of their patriarch, Phil, long before his fame, duck calls and gospel redemption. “The Blind,” a faith-based film which premiered in select theaters in late September, received a 99 percent approval rating from audiences on Rotten Tomatoes its first week.
Following the life of Phil Robertson (Aron Von Andrian) and his relationship with Miss Kay (Amelia Eve), the film tells the story of the Whites Ferry Road Church of Christ elder and the challenges he faced before founding his successful business Duck Commander in 1972.
The movie opens in a duck blind in a Louisiana swamp, a scene familiar to audiences used to seeing how members of the Robertson family unwind since their rise to fame in 2012 on the hit A&E show “Duck Dynasty.”
But the story that follows is far from the familiar family that drinks sweet tea over shared meals viewers may be used to seeing on TV.
Home troubles and alcohol abuse are quickly introduced as a young Phil takes to the woods to escape his tumultuous childhood. Duck hunting wasn’t just a passion — it was a means of providing for his family despite poverty.
Setting the story up initially as a rags to riches tale, the film quickly pivots to the foundation for a faith testimony as Phil finds himself led astray by bad company.
Marital fights, uncontrollable rage and drunken spirals dominate the majority of the movie, with repetitive bar scenes as he quickly succumbs to alcoholism as a young adult.
The film doesn’t shy away from putting his struggles fully on display – or “what happens when Satan controls a man,” as Phil says later in the film.
“It’s embarrassing and shocking,” he adds. “Y’all saw the initial me.”
Narration — the voice of a future, sober Phil — reconstructs events and provides the audience with direction as drinking scenes blur together.
Unfortunately, the same narration that provides clarity also hinders many of the characters’ development on screen.
Related: Inside the ‘Duck Dynasty’ church
Phil’s siblings, who play a crucial role in his eventual decision to come to Christ, are largely absent from the film except when appearing to make emotional pleas. Other moments fall flat as the audience is left to connect with secondary characters and lackluster acting.
However, the overall story holds the audience’s attention despite the production quality detracting from the film in certain scenes. While it may not connect with all audiences, the film serves as a powerful testimony for families who have members struggling with alcoholism and addiction.
The film is ultimately a realistic and triumphant story of Robertson’s past struggles with a compelling plot.
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