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The Other Side of Heaven
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Top Customer Reviews
I have to say that my family and I LOVED this movie. It is refreshing to watch a beautiful movie without all the sex, violence and vulgar material that permeates our society today. This movie is about True Love on so many levels - the love between Elder Groberg and his future bride Jean, the love between the Tongan people and Elder Groberg and the love between Our Lord and his children. No, I'm not Mormon, I'm actually an Assembly of God Christian, however that does not overshadow my appreciation for this movie.
The depiction of the people of Tonga is accurate. They are a lighthearted and loving group of people who love to laugh and find joy in the simple things of life. They are all about respect and honoring one's family. The scene of the first funeral brought back memories for me as it illustrated exactly how these kind people handle the departing of a loved one. When my dear Grandmother Siu passed away in 1994, my family and I traveled back to Vava'u (an island within the Kingdom of Tonga) to lay her to rest. The unmasked grief and crying as depicted in the movie was exactly how my grandmother's funeral was. The crying and grieving took place for 1 full day (24 hours - day and night) while different groups of people from all the villages on the island, came to pay their last respects.
Hats off to Disney for going out on a limb to bring the story of one young man's journey of faith and trials and tribulations of his mission to the big screen! Well done!
It was a beautiful story but realistic also. Having spent 3 years myself in the mission field in another culture (Alaskan native peoples) I could relate. The film had everything from humor like when the young elder gives his first speech in the language of the people. He confuses the word "Lighthouse" with "Outhouse." The audience both on screen and in the theatre laughed long and loud for that one. Serious moments too like when he prays for the child thought dead - exciting moments on the sea, hurricane, and ordinary times of prayer, fasting, and feasting. Ann Hathaway does a good job as the girl who is left back home - the faithful letter writer of 3 years. I would liked to have seen more of her in the story. The people who played the native islanders were excellent and darn near stole the show. But then it wasn't really a show to be stolen. Just a good story, that's what! However, I rest my promotion and am not ready to convert to the LDS but I did learn more about their courage and love for all of God's people. I respect that and I respect this more than adequate, gentle, and fine telling of a real young man's story.
It may be difficult for anyone without faith to understand why John Groberg, or any other young person, would go on a mission, but if you can suspend your skepticism, you will be rewarded. The missionary came across as a little nerdy, but you can't help but cheer for his successes and pity his failures as he deals with homesickness and culture shock while trying to learn Tongan and preach.
The scenery and musical score are beautiful, and you can almost feel the humidity and bugs that go with a tropical paradise. What I found most appealing of all were the Tongans themselves. I don't know if the actors are professionals or locals or local professionals, but they gave the movie its heart.
I found the movie/story so compelling that I went out and bought the book and the CD and look forward to someday visiting that part of the world.
On the other hand, though, this movie wasn't meant to be a technological marvel.
This movie tells the missionary story of John H. Groberg, a Seventy in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He served in far-away Tonga, without knowing a lick of the language. Given only two goals (learn the language and build the kingdom), John faces many obstacles. Language barriers, a stubborn minister, storms, death, and rats. On top of all that, his girlfriend in the States, Jean, is staving off suitors, anxiously awaiting John's return 3 years hence.
I really liked The Other Side of Heaven. It wasn't too preachy, but it conveyed great emotions in many of its scenes. There were a few cheesy scenes and some cliche sections, but overall the humor was clever, the plot enjoyable (and easy to follow), and emotion touching. A great movie that I hope many will be able to see.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I love this movie, but the person I bought it from sent me a cracked disk soooooo...That definitely put a damper on my mood when I received it!Published 1 month ago by Kristen Sommer
THIS MOVIE IS WONDERFUL , IF U WANT TO SEE JUST WHAT SOME MISSIONAIRES GO THRU , THIS IS THE MOVIE FOR YOU ,, I LOVE THIS MOVIE , IT IS VERY INSPIRING FOR ME TO DO BETTER DAILY... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Susan
Thoroughly enjoy this movie! Funny, intense, moving, and an incredible story based on true facts.Published 3 months ago by Susie W
Well done, very touching, faith promoting story. True story about a missionary who suffers so much and is left wondering if there is a God and if He really cares. Loved it.Published 6 months ago by Derron G Wilkins
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