Monday, August 17, 2015

Review of Beyond the Mask part 1--The Story

I have been chronicling the progress of the Christian movie Beyond the Mask for several years on my blog.  Now that it has been released to theaters and is coming to DVD on September 8, I can review it.  This section of the review gives a synopsis of the story.

The movie follows an employee of the East India Company (abbreviated as EIC) named William Reynolds (played by Andrew Cheney).  Reynolds has been used as an assassin against the Company’s many enemies.  Most recently, he sidelined Parliament’s inquiry into the East India Company’s spending.  In the process, he acquired a copy of the Parliament’s report detailing the Company’s misdeeds.

But he has wearied of this life and desires a fresh start with his promised land, wealth—and most importantly, a new name.  But Charles Kemp (John Rhys-Davies), the Director of the EIC, will hear nothing of the sort and insists on Reynolds resettling in America. 

Will leaves the East India Company, and disguises himself as the vicar of the quiet parish of Ailesbury.  Here he finds the quiet he has longed for—and falls in love with a local girl, Charlotte Holloway (Kara Kilmer).  Despite memories of India, he is building a new life for himself.  But he soon finds he can’t hide his past.  Two run-ins with people he would rather forget cause him to flee Ailesbury. 

But as he flees, he does not forget Charlotte.  He vows to himself that he will atone for his past (and become worthy of her) by his good deeds.  With Kemp on his way to America, this seems like the perfect opportunity for Will Reynolds to redeem his name by thwarting Kemp’s plans.  Both travel to Philadelphia where Kemp enlists the help of local Loyalists and Will is employed by Benjamin Franklin as a printer.  The Loyalists begin a coordinated campaign to intimidate rebel sympathizers.   Reynolds must thwart Kemp, so he becomes a gallant highwayman and fights the Loyalists.   Each episode is faithfully recorded in Franklin’s Gazette.

But Will soon suspects designs on the rebels’ military commander George Washington.  To save Washington from an assassination plot would certainly redeem his name.  With the Parliamentary report in his possession, Kemp’s downfall is just a matter of time and Reynolds decides to expose him.   But Charles Kemp is the master schemer, and he turns the tables on Will, who is conveyed to a prison ship.

Charlotte Holloway is also in America, and she discovers designs to destroy Philadelphia by gunpowder barrels planted strategically under key locations, including the State House where the Continental Congress is voting to adopt the Declaration of Independence.  The only person she knows who can thwart this is Will Reynolds, but he is aboard the prison ship under threat of hanging.

I thought that the story was paced very well.  The action moved the story ahead, rather than just being there for its own sake.  If you like movies with a good storyline, this one is highly recommended. 

All pictures from Beyond the Mask's Facebook page:

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