Written & Directed by: #JohnReign
Finding Purpose: The Road to Redemption is the story of John Kayhill, a U.S. Army veteran of the Bosnian War, who is trying to overcome the effects of the PTSD he suffered.
Opening with a serious and dark tone, showing the severe effects of PTSD, John Reign’s new film proves right off the bat that he’s in it for the heart. A scary and mysteriously captured introduction to a troubled U.S. veteran, followed by a shift in tone after the opening credits, Finding Purpose: The Road to Redemption finds its steady footing fairly quickly.
Although some of the acting from featured extras is lacking, the main cast is fairly strong in delivery. Some spotted moments in the script can make scenes falter a little, but for the most part, this is a very strong and personal story. John sets off on a journey for redemption after hearing some terrible news, and takes his small family along for the ride. Plenty of charming, funny and touching scenes are skilfully weaved between the more dramatic beats. Dawna Lee Heising, Tom Stoops and Aki Aleong are all delights to watch within their textured characters.
On a more technical level, Finding Purpose: The Road to Redemption brushes between film and documentary styles, with its focus on character moments rather than the bigger picture. It feels quite intimate in its approach and becomes a better film due to this. One thing that did bother me a slight amount, was the use of music in certain scenes that perhaps would work better without. I’d much rather feel raw emotion than have it forced upon me by music evoking too much feeling, but there are times where it works well. The dialogue level is inconsistent, at times becoming difficult to make out what some characters are saying, or on the other hand, too loud.
To backtrack beyond this, I must mention how fulfilling the film is. It’s inspiring, and though some things happen a little conveniently, it’s a succesful depiction of struggle and finding your way back through pain, to land on some form of happiness. The actors put in the work, and the writing and direction from John Reign is quite impressive. The final quarter is handled with a ton of care and, with very warm performances from John and the cast, it’s a fitting and emotionally satisfying end. Finding Purpose: The Road to Redemption is a fun and heartwarming film, balancing the two almost flawlessly.
Watch the trailer for Finding Purpose: The Road to Redemption below.