The parable of the Prodigal Son (found in the Gospel of Luke, chapter 15) is known to many people, even if they don't practice any faith. The father awaiting his son's return after the son has turned his back on his dad and the family is an experience that, unfortunately, is all too familiar in today's society, full of family dysfunction.
The healing of a father-son relationship, not unlike the one in the Gospel, drives the new film, The Man From Nowhere, now available on Pure Flix and Amazon Prime Video. Written by Chris Dowling and Matt Green, who also directs, the story finds two troubled men struggling to come to grips with their fractured bond.
The film opens in noir style with stereotypical gangsters playing a backroom poker game. Detective Johnny Gamble (Anthony Tyler Quinn) infiltrates the game, looking for information regarding the whereabouts of his son, Cole (Patrick Levis), who has embraced a life of crime. But this is only fiction, a story written by best-selling author, H. B. Meyers (Nick Searcy).
Anthony Tyler Quinn as Gamble in "The Man From Nowhere." © 2021 Filmbandit Productions. All Rights Reserved.
When Herb Meyers appears on a talk show promoting his new book, "The Man From Nowhere," he looks awful and it doesn't take much to see he's sick. His terminal cancer moves him to reach out to his estranged son, Jake (Seth Bowling), in the only way he knows how: through his novel. Jake, an attorney very much in love with money, booze, and himself, wants nothing to do with his dad, resentful that Herb was too busy writing while Jake was growing up to pay him much attention. Why should Jake pay attention to his dad now?
Herb, however, is determined to put himself in Jake's orbit and shows up unannounced on Jake's doorstep. He's not going anywhere until his son gives him a hearing. The two don't seem to be able to talk so Herb insists that Jake read the book. Reality and fiction blur for Jake as he begins to interact with fictional Gamble, looking for answers to what he's supposed to do about his Dad.
Seth Bowling as Jake and Nick Searcy as Herb in "The Man From Nowhere." © 2021 Filmbandit Productions. All Rights Reserved.
The Man From Nowhere pulls the viewer into the pain that both Herb and Jake experience. Herb has many regrets and Jake drowns his sorrows in alcohol and women. The only person in the film that seems to have a positive outlook on life is Jenny (Arianna Sonnenburg), Jake's secretary and long-suffering friend. Jenny has the ability to gently and kindly let Jake know what she thinks but in no uncertain terms. When his legal partners (Regi Davis and Jamie Alexander) do an intervention, Jenny is there to encourage Jake to get his act together.
Arianna Sonnenburg as Jenny in "The Man From Nowhere." © 2021 Filmbandit Productions. All Rights Reserved.
This is a story desperately needed in our time when there are so many broken relationships of all kinds. The movie is not perfect and suffers from an ending that's too neat and tidy, but it still has much wisdom to offer. First, don't wait until you're knocking on death's door to seek reconciliation with those you have hurt. Second, take a close look at your resentments and do what you can to let them go. Holding onto resentment is poison to a joyful and fulfilled life. Third, be open to forgiveness which is the antidote to the poison of resentment. Lastly, be receptive to inspiration from unexpected people or places. You never know when a good story might lead to a life-changing insight.
To access the trailer on PureFlix, click here.
To access the film on PureFlix, click here.