The film “The Lamp” is based on the novel by best-selling author Jim Stovall. Because of the film's themes of hope and faith, “The Lamp” is an inspirational film that is both uplifting and motivating.
The film begins by introducing the viewer to Stanley and Lisa, a young couple who recently lost their son in an accident. The death of their child shatters Stanley and Lisa’s perfect life.
Two years after their child’s death, Stanley is still grieving. Because of his inability to move past his grief, Stanley poisons his marriage and his career.
Just as Stanley threatens to get an apartment, Lisa receives a mysterious lamp with the inscription “Just Believe.” As she rubs the lamp, a messenger shows up on her doorstep and offers the distraught couple three wishes.
With the help of foster children that live next door, Lisa and Stanley eventually find the strength they need to become closer as a couple.
Josh London, who is known best for his role as Randall Floyd in the film “Dazed and Confused,” has the most striking performance in the film. London’s portrayal of a grieving father is well done. The transformation of Stanley is clearly noted by London’s facial features and body language. London’s most memorable scene in the movie is when he throws the lamp across the room and when he is seen sleeping in his son's bed.
Another notable actor in the film is Oscar winner Louis Gossett Jr., who is best known for his role in the film “An Officer and A Gentleman.” Playing the mysterious “messenger,” Gossett is an immediately likable character.
The rest of the performances in the film are average. Meridith Salenger, who plays Lisa, could have brought more emotion to her character. The arguments she has with her husband Stanley almost seemed forced.
Stanley and Lisa have several moments where they pause to look at something that belonged to their son. These moments drag on and the viewer is tempted to fast-forward the film. Though meant to emphasis the pain of losing a child, these scenes are merely boring and not heartfelt.
Despite these mundane scenes, the film is able to provide an inspirational message of hope and fortitude. It shows viewers what should and should not be done in the midst of great trial.
Overall, “The Lamp” is not as well done as Stovall’s masterpiece “The Ultimate Gift.” Nonetheless, “The Lamp” is a moving film that will motivate its viewers to change.
Shelby Scoffield is a graduate of Brigham Young University and a graduate student at California State University, Stanislaus.