“Sound of Freedom” Rating: 3.5/5
“Sound of Freedom” is one of those films that will garner a large following amongst the faith-based crowd. However, it should reach a much larger audience due to the importance of the subject matter.
This true story is based on the actions of Tim Ballard, a government agent who quits his job to combat child sex trafficking on a greater scale. The film presents his dangerous mission to rescue children in South America from a devastating fate.
I’ll get straight to it…the film is a must-see. Not because it reshapes cinema as a whole, but because the subject matter is more pertinent than ever. As I type these words, I recall the strong sentiment I felt leaving the theater. That’s powerful. I recall seeing my fellow audience members leaving the theater with a glazed look, processing what they’d just seen. I also recall hearing women in the bathroom crying together as they process the reality that children are taken from families every day, worrying that it could be theirs one day. I don’t recall such a shared audience sentiment in quite some time.
The film is quite well made. I was surprised at the use of cool camera angles to showcase emotional sequences. A surprise that is welcomed. The performances across the board were very good. Jim Caviezel brings his A-game to the portrayal of Tim Ballard. He conveys the restraint his character maintains when dealing with the traffickers very well. He also brings a sense of humanity to a rather stoic character.
The film also balances the subject matter in a way that is informative but not exploitative. We don’t directly see the atrocities committed, but it is left to be inferred. They also deal with it in a way that would create a sense of unease amongst any parent. The situation is relatable and devastating to everyone. I will also give the studio credit for giving audiences a chance to get involved and be informed.
After the film concludes, Jim Caviezel explains why the film was made and offers a sense of hope to the audience. A digital code is also provided to encourage donations, purchase tickets for others and get involved to end child sex trafficking. Way to put your money where your mouth is, Angel Studios!
Being that “Sound of Freedom” is produced by a faith-based company, they do a good job at restraining the preachy nature of many faith based films. This instead invited faith and non-faith members alike to unite and take action, weaving elements of good storytelling with Christlike humanity throughout the story.
While “Sound of Freedom” is a necessary watch, it struggles in a few areas. The main problem that hinders the film is sluggish pacing. There were a number of sequences that dragged the story down, taking away from the potent issue being addressed. I had to slap my leg a few times to keep myself awake at certain times. That’s a problem when audiences should be locked in during the exploration of such a subject. Shaving off 15 minutes of the runtime could have helped tidy up the slower scenes.
I also wish the filmmakers highlighted the topic more as a worldwide problem, but I understand this story is just one of many. This story focuses mainly on child sex trafficking in South America in a singular experience rather than the global issue it is. Although it makes sense for the story, I feel it’s a missed opportunity to showcase how deadly this is around the world.
“Sound of Freedom” is a must-see event that highlights the grotesque reality that is child sex trafficking. It’s uncomfortable, saddening, yet hopeful.
I credit Angel Studios for making such a gutsy film that most mainstream studios wouldn’t attempt. I’d urge any parent to see the film, reminding them how precious their children are. See it and support it. Some pacing issues really stand out here, but it doesn’t diminish the powerful idea that “God’s children are not for sale”.
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