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The Magic of Belle Isle


This is a story surrounding Morgan Freeman's character. Though it features young children, consult a parental guide before watching. The target demographic is not young children.


Morgan Freeman's character, Monte Wildhorn, was a writer. He gave up writing when his wife died, as he lost his will to write. He replaced it with a new hobby, drinking. At the end of the story, he swaps again as he recovers his will to write interesting stories.


That's the basics of the story. The family next door is a breath of fresh air that rejuvenates his authorship lungs. The interesting thing, that Monte learns, is that even though he stopped writing between his wife's death and the events of the movie, he didn't stop being a writer. It's evident in the character's lines. The way that he speaks, the words that he specifically choses to use. His extensive vocabulary is not a show to present an astute "I'm a sophisticated author" persona. No, even to a dog he speaks this way, the same way that he writes. It's a deep part of his personality. Even if he thought that the ability to write stories left, he's still at his core a writer.


We see this paralleled in the Bible multiple times. Israel, G-d's chosen people, go through some tragedy or are waylaid and decide that they can no longer be G-d's chosen people. They have sinned, they have abandoned their heritage. The parable of the prodigal son has this story. The prodigal son is far away from home and he's convinced that he's lost his identity as a son; he only hopes to return as a servant.


However, at the humbling and return of the prodigal son, his father forgives him and declares that a son and always has been. When Israel returns to G-d, begging for mercy, G-d reveals that their covenant still stands. Israel was G-d's chosen people before and they still are now. The best part is, even when lost, they were still G-d's people.


“When you are in distress and all these things have come on you, in the latter days you will return to Adonai your God and listen to His voice. For Adonai your God is a merciful God. He will not abandon you or destroy you, or forget the covenant with your fathers that He swore to them." (Deuteronomy 4:30-31 TLV)


The template process is found in Deuteronomy 4:11-40. Monte Wildhorn goes through the same period of being lost and falling into depressive ways. At his redemption, he discovers that his identity, as a writer, was never lost to him, just hidden by his own actions.

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