October Baby is a touching and emotional tale of an attemted abortion, the subsequent adoption, and one woman’s desire to both find and move on from her past.
Hannah is a college student fighting both physical and emotional symptoms which are revealed to stem from her difficult birth. The realisation that she was adopted after a failed abortion results in Hannah hoping to discover more about her life story by embarking on a road trip with some friends.
The early parts of the film are laced with humour as the on-screen chemistry between the friends is evident from the outset.
Rachel Hendrix’s performance as Hannah - her first-ever leading role, is full of intensity and maturity. It’s a phenomenal effort.
Christian films portray a positive, faith-filled message, and October Baby is no exception to that rule. But the journey the film takes feels much more authentic and entertaining than so many other faith-based productions. Yes, there’s a pro-life message; but it’s not forced on the viewer.
The writers have, for the most part, started with the question: ‘How can we make this film interesting?’ rather than: ‘How can we best force our beliefs onto others?’ For that fact alone, October Baby deserves much praise.
With a plot full of surprises, top quality production and an excellent cast, October Baby has ticked all of the important boxes.
Some criticism of the film is to be expected. The all-American production could be viewed as a little cheesy and clichéd in places. The police officer telling Hannah to “hate the crime, not the criminal” was definitely a low point - not for its message, but for its obvious roots in the cliché: "hate the sin, love the sinner". But for the most part, the filmmakers are more explicit in their choice of soundtrack than scripted dialogue. Plenty of Christian contemporary songs feature, with the lyrics bluntly telling the audience what to think at key moments.
But in the light of the overall direction of the film, these are minor criticisms. Be warned: October Baby is a tearjerker. Those fearing a simple plot can be reassured; there’s even an emotion-filled twist while the credits are rolling!
The film is so technically slick you’d be forgiven for forgetting this is a low budget production. The creator’s limited budget has been put to good use. There are no special effect fireworks; just great actors, professional camera work and a believable plot.
October Baby’s pro-life message is clear. It’s unsurprising to see that the president of the American Life League endorses it. It could be argued that the film is just as pro-adoption as it is pro-life. With the film being made by and marketed to Christians, October Baby mainly preaches to the choir. However, the film most definitely deserves a wider audience. People love a good story. Where they stand on the abortion debate is actually irrelevant when it comes to this film. Good entertainment is good entertainment. October Baby is a great family film.
Rating: 9 out of 10
January 22nd, 2013 - Posted & Written by Sam Hailes