Australian-made “Believe” is a film of images. These visuals sweep us into the life of Robert, an acclaimed metal artist, confronted with futility and human frailty when facing terminal liver cancer. We, too, are suspended on the wings of these artistic images as he deals with a range of emotions, seeking to understand his circumstances. We peek into the world of an agnostic humanist and how he deals with impending death. Laboriously, the film becomes the theatre of Robert’s mind.
Though Robert has a loving grown daughter—and a wife who agrees to an open marriage—he is plagued by an emptiness. When he is forced to face terminal cancer, his family is first to step up to support and care for him. Enter Maya, a beautiful Indian art student, full of Eastern thought and wisdom. Robert questions fate’s timing as he and Maya fall in love, becoming unassailable soulmates. He is buoyed by Maya’s belief in “twisting the shape of fate,” and when he receives notice of a liver transplant, he too believes. We observe this humanist’s ideal ending as his daughter and wife step back and welcome Maya, his new significant relationship. How sweet. Unfortunately, the film misses consequences or any message of faith in God. There is an instance of profanity and nudity, as well as the humanistic and universalistic worldviews that pop this film right out of the Dove ballpark. It is not to be recommended for families.