The ride ~ a Christmas parable
Movie length: 30 minutes
Directed by Dallas Jenkins
A bored taxi driver is given an extra run on Christmas Eve and becomes concerned about his passenger.
My Christmas movie review
There is a simplicity to this movie. The cast has literally five people, of which only two are central to the plot. Very little of the movie is outside of the taxi. It is refreshing to not switch scenes so frequently and to have no extravagant homes or effects.
The taxi driver (Kirk B.R. Woller) is totally disengaged with his first passenger (a very annoying man!) but then tries to make conversation with his next passenger (Brad Heller). This change was a bit of a jerk to my thinking, although obviously necessary to continue the plot.
While I don’t know Chicago so had no idea there was a river or bridge at the requested intersection, the taxi driver became suspicious of the passenger much quicker than I did – he could have given terse answers because he was tired, had a bad day, been an introvert, or just didn’t like nosy taxi drivers! However, once he did get suspicious that his passenger was intending suicide, the driver worked hard to prolong the trip and engage the man.
I could understand the clunky way the driver prolongs the drive. He was not generally a chatty or personable person so he found it challenging to engage this man in his taxi. Again, it would have been annoying and unbelievable if he had been able to do this smoothly. I think this is why the movie works – it is simple and real.
So why it is sub-titled a Christmas Eve parable? I took it as there would be a moral or maybe a story that somehow parallelled another, well known story (like the tortoise and the hare or the boy who cried wolf). It was a moral of helping others and the love of parents superseding mistakes, and I guess it could be a version of the prodigal son. Yet it didn’t feel like a parable to me – which is not a bad thing in a movie!
Is it a Christmas movie? Not really. It was set on Christmas Eve while the taxi driver’s wife and daughters were at a church service. A few things they drove past were covered in Christmas lights. Otherwise, it was not really about Christmas (but no less so than Die Hard!)
I came across this movie in the movie section of a streaming channel and took it at face value. There was clearly a Christian element to the driver’s actions but I didn’t feel it was a religious movie. However, I discovered it is from Christiaan Movies – it mentions church and grace, but otherwise leaves the action to tell the message without preaching religion.
Would I recommend watching this Christmas movie? As a cheerful Christmas story with Santa and tinsel, this certainly fails! But it is more thought provoking and gives a meaningful story that is enjoyable. So, yes I recommend this for adults.