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'The Most Reluctant Convert'

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Hannah Meador The Stand Writer MORE

“Wrong will be right, when Aslan comes in sight, At the sound of his roar, sorrows will be no more, When he bares his teeth, winter meets its death, And when he shakes his mane, we shall have spring again,” C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.

The first book series I remember begging my mother to read to my siblings and me was The Chronicles of Narnia. The storyline was fantastic and otherworldly. Through the pages of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, I was transported to a snow-covered world filled with fascinating creatures and breathtaking battles. But ultimately, we were the most impressed with the character of Aslan.

I will never forget sobbing as they killed him. Watching him take the place of Edmund, Aslan saved all of Narnia by his death. I couldn’t understand why they were killing him! He was their savior! How could they let this happen! But years later, once I accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior, the story of Aslan became a little clearer.

Throughout his years as a writer, C.S. Lewis wrote more than 30 books. To date, his Narnia series alone has sold more than 100 million copies and has been translated into 47 languages, and turned into three feature-length films. Far and wide, Lewis is known as an amazing Christian man and writer. However, some may have forgotten one of his most important works – Surprised by Joy. The book is Lewis’s memoir that discussed his early life…and he wasn’t always a Christian.

Screenplay writer and actor Max McLean was so fascinated by Lewis’ life (and autobiography) that he decided to adapt Lewis’s memoir into film and name it The Most Reluctant Convert. Well known for adapting several of Lewis’s books for the stage, McLean sought help from movie director Norman Stone, and they showcase Lewis and his battle over becoming a Christian in this encouraging film. 

This biopic film depicts McLean as an older Lewis. The film begins with the death of Lewis’s mother (from cancer). The experience caused Lewis great spiritual turmoil. As a child, he was raised to pray. When his prayers for his mother’s healing were not answered, he renounced his faith. Over the years, through study, WWI, and other instances, Lewis began to wonder what Christianity was all about.  

Ultimately, he concludes:

“Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important.”

He decides it is of infinite importance. As we know, Lewis does make the choice to convert to Christianity. However, it may not have happened without the impact of his friends, J.R.R. Tolkien and Hugo Dyson, who are portrayed in the film.

The camera follows McLean as he tells the story of Lewis’s life to the viewing audience. Although there are brief scenes of acting and beautiful scenery, the movie primarily focuses on McLean telling Lewis’s story.

The Most Reluctant Convert is an eye-opening piece about C.S. Lewis’s feelings toward the faith, the impact of friends, and ultimately, his conversion. It should be noted that the film is slow and may not keep the attention of young viewers or those who are not Lewis fans. Also, while not graphic, the film contains minor instances of war violence, implied sexual acts, one mild profanity, and alcohol usage. The runtime is 73 minutes.

For more information on how to view this film, visit cslewismovie.com.

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