Summary of the post
The following summary includes the list of the topics we will cover in our post related to “Gun and a hotel Bible.” It’s a pleasure to spot an exciting movie like this one.
- The story
- Review, analysis and insights – (Spoilers Begin)
- Pros and Cons. Final rating
- Where you can watch it
Gun and a hotel Bible is a well-crafted adaptation of the award-winning play. It’s not an easy task to transform a piece of theatre into a movie, but Raja Gosnell and Alicia Joy LeBlanc did a fantastic job.
Bradley Gosnell and Daniel Floren are the writers and the main actors of Gun and a Hotel Bible. The film lasts for fifty-eight minutes, and those are engaging, entertaining and provocative. Precisely the ingredients we want to find in a movie. And this is why we can only recommend it and share our insights with you.
If our introduction is still not enough, let us remind you that the movie won Seven Awards at the LA Live Film Festival in 2019. We would say that this is a good business card for the cast and the film.
Gun and a Hotel Bible – The Story
Pete is living a challenging time, but he can’t find the way out, although he is trying to overcome it. Sadly his only joy, Cindy, becomes the biggest delusion and frustration. So, Pete rent a Hotel’s camera to take action, clean his mind and change his destiny.
But he will need to struggle with himself, God and a human version of the Bible, Gideon, waiting for him to be helpful and prevent bad decisions. Pete and Gideon will discuss important topics, delivering engaging dialogues and points of view.
- Will Gideon be able to change Pete’s mind?
- What is Pete’s plan?
- And is God good or bad?
Gun and a Hotel Bible – Review, Analysis and Insights
(This section contains SPOILERS, we suggested to watch the movie first and then enjoy it.)
Faith and religion are personal choices. No one can demonstrate or prove that his theory is the truth. For this reason, probably, we have so many religions where everyone tries to bring a new piece of something “revealed by God.”
Even if with different theories, almost any religion seems to agree about God’s existence. This introduction is necessary because the plot-core of the movie moves around the possibility to answer all the questions related to God. Will our characters find a compromise?
1. The monologue leitmotif
A monologue is one of the most used ways to tell a story. So the film’s beginning starts with the one coming from Pete, well written and directed. Pete tells us about Cindy, about loneliness and the way he tries to overcome his problems.
The tone of the monologue continues even when Cindy sits to talk to him. We can’t hear her, but just Pete is describing Cindy’s life and his feeling. Almost as if Pete doesn’t want to let us hear the other version of the story, but just his point of view.
Even when the scene moves into the hotel, the dialogue we witness between Pete and Gideon seems to be kind of a monologue. It’s like Gideon represents part of Pete’s subconscious. Pete knows a lot about the Bible, perhaps also Gideon’s answers. And if we think, during the dialogue between them, we never get a clear and winning response.
The idea behinds the movie is to let us feel the theatrical experience on the screen. And the directors succeed in their intentions.
2. Rhythm and scene
Where this movie delivers is on cinematography, almost the whole film lives inside a room. It’s challenging to provide actions, rhythm and intensity when there is no space for moving. However, the cast delivers through camera movements, like we are in the same room with our actors. The camera moves around them, close to the actors and the frequent cliimax are the right techniques to achieve the result.
And when the environment limits actions, the dialogues and intensity provide the correct dose of rhythm. And the direction is genial because we find ourselves laughing or smiling at some concepts and part of the Bible. It seems to be a journey inside ourselves exploring our soul instead of new places and feelings.
We found it engaging how the dialogues move from a serious tone to a funny timbre. Like when we move from the “spilled semen on the ground” of the Genesis 38 chapter to the sad moment when Gideon reads Pete’s letter for Cindy. The script in this part is well-done.
3. Gideon and a religion that needs to be updated
Gideon is a version of the Bible published sixty-six years ago. He spent his whole life in this hotel room, and he has never seen the world. The only perception of reality comes from a tv that stopped working in 1984. Although he knows about Batman and Regan, the movie shows us how religion is often disconnected from the reality of our lives.
Gideon craves to see the world, talk to someone, and feel part of human lives. But, unfortunately, the movie highlights how the Bible, or religion in general, is not anymore part of most of society because it remained closed on old philosophy and ways to communicate that don’t belong anymore to our world. Precisely like a broken tv of 1984.
4. The divine idea of killing as the solution for the perfect revenge
Both Giden and Pete agree that death is the worst thing that can happen because it’s irreversible and lasts forever. However, Pete is ready to kill his rival Leo, causing the same pain experienced for the loss of his father to Leo’s family.
Gideon tries to convince him that this is wrong and the result of Pete’s pain, but the man with the gun throws some facts about God willing and behaviours.
Pete says that killing Leo is the will of God, as described in Leviticus chapter 20, verse 10:
“‘If a man commits adultery with another man’s wife—with the wife of his neighbour, both the adulterer and the adulteress are to be put to death.”
Leviticus chapter 20, verse 10
But Gideon explains that he needs to look at the whole picture and not only just one part. And that we don’t know why God killed people, but we can’t do it because we are not the one who gives the life to other people.
In the Old Testament, God killed thousands of people to fulfil his plan. The point is that we don’t know why he made those choices because “we can’t see the whole picture.” But, there is something more that Gideon probably forgot, and we will mention it in the following sections.
5. Why we can’t find a solution. The power of the freedom of our choices.
We need to say that Gideon represents the words of God, but this doesn’t mean that he fully understand those. Only God can understand the truth behind those verses, and we need to follow him and trust him.
For this reason, neither Gideon neither Pete have the perfect answer. We are not at God level, and we can guess, but no one can ever prove what is right and what is wrong. Perhaps with this sentence, the whole of humanity would have spared some millions of lives during its history.
Gideon explains that God is love, and he donated the free will and the freedom of the choices. If God was bad would never give us the possibility to listen and accept him in our lives, but he will force us to do so. Christians or not, this is a powerful statement and proves how God loves us. Well, God or however you prefer to call him.
6. The contradictions in the Bible
We mentioned above the adultery episode described in Leviticus chapter 20, verse 10. God ordered to kill the sinners. But in the New Testament, we have a similar situation, detailed in John 8:1-11:
“As they continued to ask him, Jesus stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you, be the first to throw a stone at her.” And once more, Jesus bent down and wrote on the ground. And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on no sins anymore.”John 8:1-11 – The Bible
We feel confident to say that this is the most powerful message ever written in a book. The idea of forgiveness and not judging anyone else is revolutionary and, perhaps, is the part that Gideon missed in his defence.
But we have many contradictions in the Bible. We like to think that, at least as a piece of literature, that anyone should embrace the last message about forgiveness. That would be a revolution in our world because it doesn’t belong to humans but God.
7. The mysterious ending without answers
The movie’s end is a provocative act but total in line with the mystery of faith and God. We won’t receive any universal truth. After all the questions with answers too weak to be good, the conclusion is that we need to have faith and trust in something or someone we can’t understand because we are limited and not infinite as God.
The film ends with Pete still looking for God. He is looking for salvation, but the Bible, or Gideon, can’t provide this. So, in the end, those are the words of God, but it’s not God. Therefore, Gideon can only pray for Pete.
We can’t find God in a book; we need to look inside ourselves, pray and be humble approaching him. Like we will do with someone we love. The message delivered by the movie seems precisely this one.
After the gunshot, we don’t know what happened. Maybe Pete killed himself, or perhaps he shot to scare Cindy, or sadly he killed Leo or Cindy. Like with our prayers, we never know the outcome. So we need to wait and have faith.
It’s the end, and all the mysteries are unsolved, but there isn’t much time left to think and overthink; a new customer already joined the room, and a new chapter is waiting for Gideon. Although, as Freddy Mercury once wrote, “The show must go on”, and we sometimes remain actors, other times spectators of this sensational and enigmatic play we named life.
8. The reasons to live
In the darkness of his days, Pete found Cindy to bring colours to his life. Their relationship was the only hope in Pete’s life. But when someone can’t love himself, he can’t love anyone else and, therefore, he can’t stay at peace with God, who is love. But, unfortunately, Pete’s approach was selfish, and he ended up looking for revenge and not for Justice.
Two last notes before we conclude our review of “Gun and a hotel Bible”. There is a moment when Pete tries to close the Bible to get rid of Gideon, but, surprisingly, he is still on the scene. It’s a fantastic metaphor to remind us that God or the need for spirituality is always with us. When we are alone in our room, this concept is even more amplified, and the noise of silence can awake our soul.
Gideon mentions something we found inspiring: emotions need words, just as words need emotions. The result produces art and makes us better people. Don’t you trust us? You know the answer now; have faith.
Gun and a Hotel Bible – Pros and Cons
The movie delivers a lot, although it lasts for less than one hour. It’s engaging, sometimes inspiring and leave us with more questions than answers. All the actors did a fantastic job, and the pace of the film is honestly very good, considering all the limitations discussed above.
The only negative notes, according to us, are most of the answers provided by Gideon. The Bible is a book of contradictions, perhaps, but we feel that the most crucial topic of this text needed more attention: forgiveness. Unfortunately, the most revolutionary concept is not part of the dialogue, and it seems to be the downside of the movie. Perhaps focusing on this part would provide us with a better script.
But let’s forgive the cast because their job is excellent and we loved the movie.
Our final rating is
|Bradley Gosnell (Pieter), Daniel Floren (Gideon), Mia Marcon (Cindy)
|Raja Gosnell and Alicia Joy LeBlanc
Rotten Tomatoes: 4.5/5
|Amazon Prime Video (USA) or check in your country.
|Gun and a Hotel Bible won 7 awards at the LA Live Film Award in 2019. Details avaialbe here.