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Unanswered Questions

Did you come away with a question you were dying to ask?

Was that Papa serving the pie to young Mack at the beginning of the movie? If not, who was it supposed to be?

Interested in the response to this question also.
My perception is that Papa chose a manifestation to present to Mac that was familiar and safe to him. The manifestation being a neighbor who actually showed the love of God to Mac as a child.

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Hi Ron-My husband and I saw it as an explanation as to why Papa appeared to Mack in the form of the same woman. Obviously Mack did not remember it as the same woman, but as a comforting figure in his life when he was experiencing immense pain. I think Papa used that comforting presence again and that’s the form He took because its what Mack needed.

The fact that he didn’t remember threw me off a bit. Generally repressed memories are of traumatic events. If the neighbor was indeed a comforting presence, I think Mack may have at least alluded to her somehow when meeting Papa. To forget completely just didn’t seem possible. I understand from my perspective, it just would’ve made more sense to me if Mack had made the connection also from his perspective, though it was shown to the audience, the neighbor’s presence to Mack as a child, and Papa’s presence to Mack as an adult, meant the same thing to Mack.

This is art, open to lots of interpretation. Is God foreshadowing himself in Mack’s life at a young age. I don’t think so, because the counsel to “just talk to God about it” is pretty weak for a boy suffering from domestic violence and watching his mom too. Or, does it signify that God takes on a persona that Mack would find comfort in, whether or not he recognizes her. There a couple moments early on where Mack gives her a shouldn’t-I-know-you-from-somwhere look.

This isn’t in the book so not sure what the movie makers were trying to do here. I tried to get it killed in the script, but failed, especially because her counsel to him is so weak. 40 years ago it would make more sense than today. Today it’s almost criminal not to intervene in such a situation.

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I also wondered how she knew the bruise on young Mack’s head was from his father, and not from someone else. She didn’t ask him, not did he volunteer the information. It seemed mystical to me.

Admittedly, having not read the book, I had no knowledge of what in the movie was in the book, and what wasn’t. For the most part, do you think the movie was an accurate portrayal of what was conveyed in the book? Or did it distort its premise? I heard Brad say in several interviews in so many words, he was pleased with the outcome of the movie and its message, going as far as to say it is not a ‘chick flick’ (lol).

I agree w/ Rob Ammons.

Actually I understand her weak advice - it’s very human. I have been the recipient of it (“just pray about it”) so many times by religious tho probably well-meaning Christians. :frowning:

Question (spoiler alert if you haven’t read the book) - why was it decided not to have the authorities find Missy’s bones at the end? Not that I think it did any injustice to the movie - I thought the garden scene sufficed & was beautiful providing closure/healing for Mack. Just curious.

Not having read the book, but would it have caused confusion given that in Mack’s ‘dream’ they did find her and gave her a proper sendoff? The film may have benefitted from more creative consulting in spots, in my opinion, the lines between what the movie portrayed as fantasy as compared to reality leading to more confusion than clarity. And basically to wrap it up by saying ‘believe it or not’, could be perceived as trite given the audience knows the experience in the shack didn’t really happen to Mack, when he awakened in the hospital, and told by his friend he never made it there, although the experience within the coma seemingly made Mack a changed man.

Unfortunately books can tie up many loose ends, but movies can only tie up a few. The thought was the Mack/Kate fix was the best way to bring their emphasis in this story to conclusion. There were other things in the last part of the book that wouldn’t fit in either. It’s just a choice movie people have to make and believe me there were people fighting for all their favorite bits in this story.

That’s exactly the way it is in the book, Ron. So whether it never happened, or the Spirit did a timey-warpy thing isn’t clear, but it kind of puts all the “you-got-the-Trinity-wrong” folks with nothing to grouse about if this were all in Mack’s mind during his coma. The Holy Spirit can work there too, but the images would be things important to Mack.

After leaving the theatre I had a few thoughts in my mind as to what worked better for the story… When I read the book It seemed anticlimactic to have the scene when the authorities found the body after Mac’s accident. It was like confirming that his time at the Shack never happened. I liked how the movie ended it. You can walk out believing Mac… as Nan did… that somewhere there is a garden with a resting place for Missy.

I felt this was a subtle illustration of the “still small voice” of God. I too felt like Mack had a twinge of recognition later. Curious why this was something you tried to kill in the script?

How was Missy murdered in the movie? I dont understand where all the blood came from in the run down shack. Was she stabbed?

Actually, there wasn’t much blood in the movie version of THE SHACK. Doing so would have pushed its rating to “R.” But there isn’t a description of it in the book either. How Missy died isn’t important, that she died was. We didn’t want to glorify violence, just moved the story along.