A telephone operator living an empty, amoral life finds God and loses him again.
By now, you should be plenty familiar with the idea of the “rapture” whether religious or not. However you might not have thought to associate it with Mimi Rodgers and David Duchovny. This early 1991 film takes on this bold subject area and actually succeeds with an unassuming winning cult film creation.
Directed by Michael Tolkin, “The Rapture” tells the story of Sharon, a Los Angeles phone operator by day and swinger partner at night (partner to Patrick Bauchau aka Vic). Call it a release in trying to deal with such a monotone occupation, but she seems to be enjoying herself in the process. It is during one of these frivolous romps that she meets another swinger by the name of Randy played by the earlier “Mulder” David Duchovny.
It’s somewhat quirky and bizarre especially in the way it goes from sexual deviants to Christianity bible thumpers. Though the Christianity in this case is a mere transition in preparation for a “rumored” inevitable event…..yep, “The Rapture”. She is told early on by a sect that the “day” would come. The notion has a severe effect on Sharon and her current lifestyle. From that notion she marries Randy, has a few kids and becomes enraptured in her new found faith. Though life is hard and has a few heartaches around the corner.
As a “now” born-again Christian, she has to make some real hard choices in life. The calling leads to a test that puts her and her children at the foot of a desolate mountain range. She waits and yet in the process murders her children as they all go days without food. This waiting and anticipating of a religious event becomes a source of much despair for Sharon who thinks God has failed her and put her in harms way.
Jail time is not far behind, and in the process her faith becomes almost null. But those trumpets do eventually come which is the twist to this film’s religious relationship. It is a compelling movie that really rolls thru several levels of premise and alteration. We get the raunchy, the murders, the tests and the scenery……but we also get a take on Christianity, the afterlife and how cruel reality can be.
I never really took this as a “typical” Christian film even though Christianity is a big par of its story (Real Christians don’t believe in the Rapture). Mimi gives a great performance which compliments her relationship with Randy (David Duchovny)
“The Rapture” falls into one of those cult films that deserves a few viewings. It has come the closest to a “Rapture” style event than any I have scene and does so in a pretty clever way.
The film was reported to have lost budget as the final act rolled around, but even in its simplistic approach it still works for its intention.
The message that underlines the whole she-band is this test of faith and the holding to one’s beliefs. It’s a great though provoking exploration into zealous perspectives and the human will. We feel for the character who wants more out of life and find even with her lifestyle that we “get” what and why she had chosen her path. The church gets a few points for incorporating a rather effective turnover in her character and acknowledgement of strong beliefs.
I highly recommend it not for its “cult flair” but for its look at the subject of Rapture itself. Christian viewers may not agree with the first act from a viewing standpoint, but it does manage to show a transition and a lifestyle change. Mimi does an incredible job in one of her highpoint roles.
The Rapture (1991)