"The Meek" is a Christian film hiding inside a gangster film. Rife with themes of sin and redemption, bad actions and ripened-karma, "The Meek" is not only technically perfect but features robust performances by nearly every actor on-screen. The film premiered December 7th, at Old Greenbelt Theatre in Greenbelt, Maryland. Emmy-nominated producer Harold Jackson III has directed and written a film that says much about the human condition in its every scene.
What it means to be meek
"The Meek" references a section of the Bible known as the Beatitudes: “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:5). Meekness is not weakness, but rather strength brought under control. Meekness is a characteristic of the character Josh, a "born-again" ex-convict, who after a life-changing tragedy, enters into a spiral of violence and perdition. Shawn Woodland powerfully plays Josh in the vein of a man trying to do better.
Josh's opponent in the film, Gabriel, is played by the uber-talented Danny Gavigan ("Rumination"). Channeling a white-boy-rapper aura, Gavigan's villain was an eye-ball-glueing, attention-hoarding beast on screen. Pursuing Josh with a fiery vengeance throughout the film---over a serious beef---Gabriel sets the stage for a bloody mess of mayhem.
To be meek and to forgive
Along the way, Josh meets a love interest played by sultry Brandi Cohen (TV's "Saints & Sinners").
It is refreshing to see characters with strong romantic chemistry show "meekness" when it comes to restraining the act of love.
Eli El is unforgettable as Reverend Perry, Josh's pastor and fiercely loyal friend. It is Perry, who tells Josh that if you "pull the curtain back on anyone, you will find some unsavoury things."
The Bible-studying Josh learns about the importance of forgiving one's self. El's scenes with his on-screen wife, Sadie, played by the magnificent Tia Dae, are not only entertaining but a good representation of Black love.
The other players in the film bring their best to their roles. Derek A. Smith is convincing as a televangelist. Chad Eric Smith is powerful in his few scenes as the hapless low-life Mike. Johnny Christos plays a menacing heavy.
Jackson proves that he is a director that knows how to frame a shot and set a mood. The film unfolds in a series of beautiful close-ups, even the violent scenes. His locations, especially the ones in New Mexico, helped tell the story as much as a physical action or a line of dialogue.
There are a lot of speechless scenes that move the story forward, quiet moments, punctuated by eruptions of deadly physical action.
The sound in the film is excellent. If you are going to fire a gun in a film, fire a gun so you can hear it, and in this film, you can hear it. The stunts are exciting to watch, thanks to Stunt Coordinator Dylan Hintz. Though the film runs nearly two hours, every scene builds on the one before it and girds the foundation of the one after it.
"The Meek" is a brilliant addition to the world of cinema. Its got guts, its got guns, its got the goods. Will the Reviewer says look for its official release next year.
You can watch the trailer by clicking the link below.