A young man inherits his late mentor’s pawn shop and $4 million from a recent collectible. Escaping the clingy money-hungry girlfriend and the devastating death of his mentor, he moves within divine Providence and “escapes” to a small town under a new name. There he falls for a girl who “just happens” to arrive on the same day, but their secret pasts and his continual inept abilities with women keep them apart. He shows kindness to the girl but brings upheaval to the town when his clandestine history is revealed – a hole dug well. Recalling the wise words of his mentor that “nothing takes place by chance” and “To see the blessing, you gotta move through the failure.” He reaches for that which he thought he’d never have, the love of a woman.
This is a simple story filled with a wonderful cast of relatable characters. It’s a slow moving, plodding plot that takes its time to fully develop and allows the audience to experience what it’s like to live in a small town where time moves at a tortoise pace. The feel of the movie is timeless, nothing to distinguish the time period, except perhaps the computer and fax machine.
“Pawn’s Move” is not overtly Christian and it’s certainly not evangelistic, but it has a solid Christian worldview that expresses life for everyday Christians. The dialogue is interspersed with thought provoking wisdom, primarily relating the game of chess to life.
I love the opening credits. It gives the movie a fun, fresh feel from the beginning. The cinematography is creative and very well done, lots of ground level and shallow focus shots. The pawn stores make for interesting locations with lots of visual interest. The Weston pawn shop, especially, makes me think of hundreds of other similar antiques and thrift stores in small towns across the country. The diner is another classic small town staple.
With the exception of a few weak moments, the acting as a whole is strong. Tyler Roberds does an exceptional job of portraying Jimmie as an awkward young man in love. He’s vulnerable and real. Jami Harris convinces us that she’s a scared, hurt runaway. She doesn’t say much, but she expresses herself very well with facial expressions and mannerisms. I will say, though, that she looked awfully fresh and made up for someone living out in the woods. Sheena Pena made me laugh as the wannabe girlfriend. Haven’t we all met someone like her? I’m sorry to see that Jack Mishler passed away earlier this year. He reminded me of Dick Van Dyke in Diagnosis Murder. And his character, Harvey, was even a tap dancer!
I love a movie that ends well and this does just that. The last line is great. And be sure to watch through the credits for the surprise final scene.
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