One of the aspects of The Identical that I love the most is that it takes us to the 1950’s. I think this movie did well in terms of decorating the sets, wardrobe, hairstyles, and makeup. It adds so much to the story’s authenticity to the time frame where the movie is located.
The Identical is about twin brothers who after birth are switched during the Great Depression of the 1930’s. One of the brothers becomes a huge rock ‘n’ roll superstar and the other is having a hard time balancing music and making his father proud.
This Christian movie first puts us in Alabama in 1935 with the Great Depression making its full impact. We meet Helen and William Hemsley, a poverty-stricken couple who are informed that they’re going to be parents. All the happiness that came along with that suddenly turned into worry when Helen has twin boys. This comes as a shock and frustration to William as he’s unemployed and before the boys’ arruval was already struggling to keep up economically for his family.
With all this troubling him, William goes to a revival in search of comfort. There a minister, Reverend Reece announces during the sermon that his wife has miscarried and won’t be able to have kids so he encourages those present to keep them in their prayers. William and Helen think that in their situation they can probably help the minister so they give one of the boys to Reverend Reece (played by Ray Liotta) and his wife Louise (played by Ashley Judd). But the young couple made the Reverend and his wife promise that the boy would not know who his real parents were until William and Helen would’ve both passed on.
The boy given to Reverend Reece and Louise was called Ryan (played by Blake Rayne) and of course, he grows up in church with a strict father who wants his son to follow in his footsteps and be like him. Ryan is very respectful towards his father but doesn’t feel that he has the divine calling that his father is so sure his son has. What Ryan feels that is his calling and gift is singing. He comes alive when doing so but his father is not very interested in that but his mom always encourages him towards that. His friend Dino alongside Ryan sneak into a roadhouse and Ryan is exposed to a new world of music he’d never heard of before, rhythm and blues which later on would become rock ‘n’ roll. Even though Ryan is amazed by this new world, Reverend Reece is not at all happy about it. Later on, when Drexel Hemsley begins being a household name everywhere, Ryan notices that they look awfully alike like if they were twins.
After seeing Drexel’s life, Ryan is more than certain that music is the life and calling he wants to pursue. By gripping that dream, leaving behind his strict father and running away from his famous brother’s shadow will take a bit more time.
Ryan does not believe that what his father envisioned for him is what he wants to do but he never takes it too far and disrespects his dad. And when Reverend Reece finds out what Ryan really wants to pursue in his life he doesn’t necessarily approve entirely but is fully conscious that his son has to go his own path. The Reverend actually apologizes to his son at one point for making the path for him and not letting him do it all on his own.
The Identical tackles the themes of vocation and calling which in fact often get mistaken. It reassures us that the talents we have are gifts from God and He has given them to us for his Glory as part of our purpose. This Christian movie starts the conversation of life’s calling and purpose making us the audience think about our own calling. It reminds us as well how important it is to figure that out along the way.
The Identical is a great movie to sit down and watch with family although since it’s based on the 1950’s approximately, adults from that generation will specifically enjoy it. Check out The Identical and other faith-based films here in www.fishflix.com.
Now I’ll mention some of my favorite Christian movies to watch that you can find o the Fishflix store as well: