Around the Bend
“Around the Bend” is a fresh dramatic comedy about family failures and the opportunity for redemption. Henry (Michael Caine), the proud patriarch of the Lair family, lives with his grandson, Jason (Josh Lucas), and great-grandson, Zach (Jonah Bobo). Sensing his death approaching, Henry yearns for unity, forgiveness and love in his family. Unfortunately, the reality is far from perfect. Jason’s father, Turner (Christopher Walken), abruptly left him shortly after birth, becoming a thief and a drug addict. Yet Henry still wants Turner back and gladly accepts him when he suddenly appears at the family home. Jason, however, is skeptical and angry with his father, choosing to reject the man who betrayed them so long ago. So when Henry finally dies, he leaves his three descendants with a final request. They must go on a trip together. And they must unearth the secrets of their past and finally be reconciled.
This film is an effective retelling of the Prodigal Son. Jason, who was raised by Henry instead of his own father, is the faithful son, and Turner is the lost son. As in the Scripture, the faithful son refuses to accept the lost son who returns home. So, Henry must encourage and manipulate his “sons,” so that there will finally be love and peace between them. Though it has a powerful message of redemption and an enjoyable story, the film is unfortunately marred by foul language, and cannot be Dove approved.