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Not Today (2013) – Best Intentions but questionable Transformation

not_today_xlgCategory: Drama/Thriller
Actors: Cody Longo, Walid Amini, John Schneider, Persis Karen, Cassie Scerbo
Duration: 104 min
Rated: PG-13

You might like this movie if you enjoyed:
Taken (2008), Slumdog Millionair (2009)

Long Story Short:
A rich and spoiled twenty-year old named Caden is going on a trip to India with his friends. The first night out he crosses paths with a beggar and his four-year old daughter asking him for money for food. He refuses to even look at them. When he runs into the homeless man again, he finds out that someone took his daughter and probably sold her into slavery. Caden decides to help him.

Not Today is addressing a very serious topic: Human trafficking. It focuses on the poverty area in India where parents are told from strangers they would take their children to a safe place, where they have a bed and food, and they are even able to go to school. But instead they enslave them – Some of them aren’t older than four or five. The movie had a good concept of a spoiled sunny boy who gets hit by reality when he wakes up in the middle of the slums of India after refusing to help out a father and his daughter, and starts to take responsibility for his mistakes. Unfortunately it wasn’t as strong as I was hoping. At the end of the movie the actors encourage the viewers to go to their website and get involved and help those children. The whole crew of the movie seems to be highly engaged with this organization they are advertising for, so I believe buying the movie already donates a certain amount for a poor child in India.
What I didn’t like about the movie is that they tried to turn it into a Christian debate. Too many scenes were dealing with the protagonist’s struggle with his believe, and every conversation he had with his girlfriend or family was about God, and how he will fix everything.
I am all for religion, and I think, that we all should believe in something, as long as it doesn’t promote ignorance or hatred – since I live in the states, I noticed that converting potential church members and hating on fringe groups seem to be the major goal of some communities, which makes me very sad – however, your belief shouldn’t take over your life. You are still in charge of your own life, and no one will magically fix it, unless you take action. It got very annoying, and almost overshadowed the plot about the little girl Annika who was taken away, even though this was supposed to be the main idea of the movie.
The movie has the best intention of getting people involved with a topic they would most likely turn away from. Unfortunately they missed the mark a little with its misleading subplot that doesn’t have anything to do with the topic itself. I would give Not Today a 4/10, but it deserves an extra point for the awesome way they used the subtitles. If you watch it, you’ll see.

Rating: 5/10

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