The following was written in 2000 by the presenter of this channel:
Milla - the real - "Messenger" - (A FILM REVIEW - 2000)
What we have here is a film about motivations. Why do we do the things we do? Since it does actually answer this question and resolves this human dilemma - this fact makes it, not necessarily the best film, but nothing less than the most important film of our time, or of all time for that matter.
I'm not well read enough on Joan's history to know of its accuracy or not, but who cares, that is not the message of "The Messenger". I also don't know anything about the personal life of the writer-director Luc Besson other than he use to be married to Milla Jovovich the star of his film. I don't know how religious or spiritual he is, or even if he completely understands what he has accomplished here, but he must already be a friend of God's or well on his way to understanding or enlightenment or having his "moment" with God. What he has managed to get on film is only the answer to the age old question - what is the meaning of life ! - and with not one scintilla or trace of preachiness or religiosity - just a search for truth. His Joan wrestles with such important eternal issues till understanding, conviction, and resolution through her God.
Everybody believed in Jesus back then, but not every soul had it out with Him or had their "moment" with Him as we see Joan do in the film. There is such a wide range of opinions evident as to who Dustin Hoffman plays in this movie, from Joan's conscience to the devil. My interpretation is that Dustin played God, with, in this case, the title of, or role of, her Conscience with a capital "C". Only the Holy Spirit would have an interest in bringing one to a place, (that we see in the film), of conviction, repentance, submission and confession. He shows her (we should all be so lucky - but now with this film, we are) her true motivations of revenge, greed, joy in cruelty, and worst of all pride and she is convicted and says -"set me free". How could an all loving God expect any more from His creations, or any less. This movie is a stunning and brilliant depiction of what our Creator wants from us - transactions - and/or a relationship - our being hungry enough for truth and admitting it when we see it about ourselves and about God - in that we are screwed up and only He holds the keys of resolution (and paid the price, on the cross) for our sin dilemma. I haven't seen this relationship so brilliantly portrayed since Robert Duvall in "The Apostle" - another very important film.
How one guy Luc Besson can go from making possibly the worst film I've ever seen "The Fifth Element" to possibly the best in "The Messenger" must say something of his artistry, and of his risk-taking. He was born to deliver this message to mankind in this film about an early protestant. Whether he realizes it or not his message through Milla is very Biblical. I doubt he prayed for help and guidance from God to deliver a Biblical message without being preachy, but in spite of himself he has managed to do it, by having his characterization of Joan so diligent in her quest for truth - she bypasses the stupidity, hypocrisy and deception of "religion" and goes straight to God herself and has her "moment" of getting real with God. Never before seen in a major release before, that I've seen, or can think of, off hand. This is a must see film for all. I watched the confession scene with Dustin, (who is God) several times with tears in my eyes. Then eventually before she is martyred He Himself gives her the absolution she so desires.
Luc probably made a film having his character perform the way he wishes it were so - about bypassing religion for forgiveness and eternal matters etc. but based on what I've read in God's book - I would say Luc has stumbled on the right formula for having peace with God and going into eternity which we will all have to face one day. I wonder if he is well read in the Bible enough to know God has really made it just that simple. If you don't believe me read His book for yourself and see. Admit that He is God and you ain't and ask for what He offers in forgiveness and eternal life etc. - and He will give it to you. It is all such a good deal, I can't figure out why so many choose not to participate in God's program.
Milla is perfect for this part and born to play this role with just the right intensity - I just hope and pray she doesn't burn out with all her vices before even reaching 40 - I'm afraid she fancies herself the next Marilyn or Gia etc. - and is bent on self destruction, but I hope she grows up and lives up to all that potential to deliver many other messages from God for us, through her many talents.
Run to the video store and see this film at any cost, and then do what Joan demonstrates at the end of the film - have your moment with God and ask for what He offers - it's all free - you just have to lower your pride enough to do this.