Decent Films Mail > Mailbag #5

Re: Walk the Line (2005)

It’s disappointing to me that you didn’t see enough redemption in Walk the Line. The scene when the Carter family takes it upon themselves to see to it that Johnny quits taking drugs is an amazing scene of redemption as I’m sure that every one of those people could find reason to justify leaving him to his vices but they didn’t. I agree that his first wife was not portrayed well but I don’t think that Johnny was portrayed well either which makes me believe that there is some truth to both characters.

Part of the bad of Johnny Cash in the movie is his pursuit of June while he is married and I used to believe that no good can come out of bad motives but I think that it’s wrong to believe that as there is so many situations where God makes good of a less than ideal situation although we still have to deal with the results of our decisions despite forgiveness and redemption. I think that Johnny Cash portrayed a lot of realistic hope through his music and his persona and the fact that the movie didn’t lay it out with a conversion experience or alter call doesn’t mean the message is lost, quite the contrary in my opinion.

I can’t put it any better than poster Jeff Rioux, who writes, “Johnny Cash loved three things deeply in his life: drugs, June Carter, and Jesus Christ. This film only shows two of those loves.” I appreciate what Walk the Line does (hence the B‑plus!), but I can’t help questioning the artistic choices around what it doesn’t do.

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