Thursday, June 30, 2016

More Heart and Subplots Works Well After a Long Day

When Calls the Heart: It Begins With Heart
Starring Daniel Lissing, Erin Krakow, Jack Wagner, and Lori Loughlin;
Directed by Michael Landon Jr.; 2015

This is a movie that requires two things: First, the more you have seen of the episodes prior to this one, the better off you’ll be.  Second, be ready to spend more time watching the next episode.
This series first shown on the Hallmark Channel obviously keeps on delighting thousands and this episode was no exception. I watched this one down south in the heat of the night and found it most refreshing.  Coal Valley (now renamed Hope Valley after the mine closed) is on the verge of getting national exposure on New Year’s Eve as a great frontier family town. And it takes the whole town’s cooperation to pull it off.
But while that main plot progresses, we get ample opportunity to look in on several other subplots – both romantic and not-so-much.  This results in many surprises as well as moments of tenderness between human beings. And in the process, lessons are communicated to the audience.
One father who recently lost his wife is heard saying, “We work for a living” when the lead character Elizabeth Thatcher (the town’s teacher played so well by Erin Krakow) speaks to him about his daughter doing art which he was opposed to.  Her response, “Being creative is part of work for children.”
At another point, the owner of the lumber mill makes his new year’s resolution to be able to say ‘no’ for once to his very bossy and self-centred female crush in the person of Rosemary LeVeaux (plaed by Pascale Hutton) with this beautiful comeback, “Sometimes life is more important than just appearances,” as he forces her to tell the truth to the reporter writing the special feature on the town.
Clearly the message is that a vibrant community is one where ‘family’ extends beyond the walls of a single home.  And as nice as that goal is, it needs to be pursued with the understanding that everyone has deep secrets of the past that may or may not come out in any given episode of the series, or for that matter, in real life.

Jack Thornton (played by Daniel Lissing), is the local Royal Canadian Mounted Police Constable overseeing Hope Valley with whom Miss Thatcher is in love.

Once again the script is rich with great lines and dialogue time and time again.  Clearly not an extremely big-budget production. What the movie lacks because of its many subplots is the fact that we meet so many characters but never get to know them.  They, understandably, cannot not be developed as deeply as we would like – at least not in a single episode.
The film and the entire series is based on the work of Janette Oke, a Canadian author still living in Alberta, Canada. Faith is a big part of her life and the Producer-Director Michael Landon, Jr. has honored that aspect of her writings. (In an earlier review I had stated he became famous in his role on the well-known series Bonanza – but that was his father, Michael Landon.  My apologies.)
Unfortunately, I did not record every instance of brilliant and very witty dialogue between the characters this time – I should have.  But suffice it to say that if you watch this film, you’ll be pleasantly entertained by them.

I’m looking forward to watching the next episode.  So, if you’re looking for some great family thought-provoking entertainment, join me and take a look at this entire series.

By Ken B. Godevenos, President, Accord Resolutions Services Inc., Toronto, Ontario, May 13, 2016.

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