A thriller in which a battle of philosophies between a fundamentalist Christian and an atheist escalates into a lethal battle of wills. Ultimately, as a test of faith, or lack of it, the believer forces the non-believer onto the ledge of a tall building. He then has one hour to make a choice between his own life and someone else's. Without faith in an afterlife, will he be capable of such a sacrifice? Written by
Stunning, intelligent thriller about the dangers of heart vs. head!
It's not hard to put together a monster film. You throw one insane guy together with a hero, and add a car chase. The Ledge is nothing like this, and that's why it's so impressive.
The main struggle is between a Christian with extreme beliefs, and an Atheist who just wants out. Uniquely, it's the only film I can think of that has an openly atheist hero and an A-list cast. And ironically, the few people who have complained about this show exactly what the film is trying to portray: that some people are so intolerant of atheism that even one movie among the thousands in history is too much for them.
To me, the star of this film is Patrick Wilson, who plays the fundamentalist. Instead of becoming a monster, his portrayal links completely normal passions like love and protection and revenge that we can all identify with, but then takes it to the natural conclusion, egged on by his convictions that anything he decides to do must be blessed.
Thus the central thesis of the film -- that belief can go too far -- is played out on a small stage. This is a drama of just 6 people, but the intricate explosions between them pull at the heartstrings far more effectively than a car chase in an action film would. We hear so much about the dangers of religion in big stories like 9-11, gay rights, and abortion rights. Here is a film about the dangerous of religion in the everyday, the dramas so commonplace that everyone who watches can find something in their own lives to compare it with.
Sure, I've never walked out onto The Ledge. But something about the masterful writing and acting in this film creates an authenticity that is undeniable.
Go ahead. Rant against atheism. Show us how intolerant you are. Violent words and deeds are the response of someone backed into a corner, desperate not to lose it all, just like "Joe" is in this film.
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