By Blair Larsen
Review: The Other Side of Heaven
PROVO, UTAH -- "The Other Side of Heaven" is the film adaptation of
Elder John H. Groberg's book "Eye of the Storm." Taking place in the
1950's, "The Other Side of Heaven" starts out as a nostalgic period
piece and becomes a coming-of-age epic. John Groberg (Christopher
Gorham-- "A Life Less Ordinary) leaves his family and girlfriend
(Anne Hathaway-- "The Princess Diaries") to serve a mission for the
LDS church in the Kingdom of Tonga.
It is the adventure of a lifetime. An Idaho-raised young man answers
the call to serve a mission in the south pacific-- a region
completely opposite from his home. Plagued by mosquitos, hurricanes
and an irritated Baptisit minister, Groberg learns not only to live
in the Tongan Islands, but to serve and make a difference in the
lives of others.
Producers John Garbett ("Shrek") and Gerald Molen ("Schindler's
List") collaborate writer/director Mitch Davis in telling an
uplifting and beautiful story. Shot in the Cook Islands, Rarotonga,
and New Zealand, the film abounds in beautiful scenery, captured by
Brian Breheny's rich cinematography.
Christopher Gorham's excellent performance shows the evolution of an
ignorant, but well-meaning boy into a grown man, powerful teacher and
great leader. Joe Folau is fantastic and humorous in the supporting
role of Feki, Groberg's missionary companion.
In a day of film filled with mindless violence, immorality and other
inappropriate content, this film is like a breath of fresh air.
Uplifting and thought-provoking, "The Other Side of Heaven" is
guaranteed to leave you feeling better coming out of the theater than
when you came in.
"The Other Side of Heaven" opens tomorrow at select theaters along
the Wasatch Front in Utah. It will be available at more theaters in
Utah starting December 21st, and its distribution is expected to
expand from there.
The Other Side of Heaven
Blair Larsen 8Dec01 A2