Review: "Sting: Moment of Truth"
The man they call "Sting", the icon, tells his story of how he wrestled not with his opponents but with his inner demons in his film "Moment of Truth." He shares of how pride, fame, poverty, fortune, and deception ruined his life until he found Jesus Christ. This is the story of the man outside the ring as he tells it.
Sting: Moment of Truth (2004)
Genre: Drama, biography, documentary
Director: George King
Producer: Dove Canyon Films
Distributor: Willow Creek Marketing
Features: Donnie Falcate
The overall direction of the film adapted to the mood and Sting's narration of events. I liked how the director creates an atmosphere where we can see Steve Borden from an early age. As the movie progresses, we gradually see Steve Borden develop into a pro-wrestler. The wrestling action was entertaining which sets the atmosphere for the conflicts Steve Borden has with his character Sting. The changing settings also adapt to the various emotions Steve Borden faces. My only problem is that the director didn't explain the significance of most events. They seem disorganized and not as coherent as they should've been. Only fans of Sting can follow the chronology of his career in order. Nevertheless, the film appealed to wrestling fans despite it being geared towards a Christian audience.
The Script fit very smoothly. We could distinguish between Steve Borden's personality and his kayfabe character, Sting. Many of the characters featured were realistic in terms of expressing emotion and re-enacting the events in Sting's biography. The plot was dramatic and each character's choice of words were simple but impactful. It didn't take much to feel Steve Borden's desperation, confusion, depression, frustration, anger, and emptiness. His interactions with his wife were also credible and personal. The reporters were also legitimate with their a-typical prying behaviors. The fans also displayed believable characteristics as they shout expletives during live events. I also enjoyed how the wrestlers featured didn't have to dialogue much with Sting. They communicated more through wrestling action as opposed to endless chatter. As the plot progresses, Sting debunks several myths people have about pro-wrestling such as genuineness of the violence. He also discusses his personal perspective while wrestling and his outlook on the fans. Sting dramatizes his own struggles in his own words and actions rather than rely on a narrator.
The clothes within the movie all gave the characters their proper attire. The wrestler costumes rather showed their particular ring personas. When Sting changed out of his costume and into Steve Borden, it became a symbolic reminder that his wrestling character was not who he is beneath. Nonetheless, it has become apart of him as the film slowly depicts. As for the other characters, the casual clothing is perfect for creating a natural environment. However in some instances, some characters are personalized by their special make-up as a token of their loyal fan-base. Overall, the costume design makes the film more realistic.
The setting overall made the plot realistic. It contributed to making a natural wrestling environment while blending it with the norm of the outside. The setting was very well picked as it adjusted to the character's moods. Natural sunshine intensified joy while dark areas characterized gloom and despair. The settings were chosen from real locations, thus allowing Sting's biography to be relived through his eyes.
The soundtrack put groove during some scenes but many unfortunately did not fit the film at all. Many were seemingly picked at random. Nevertheless the instrumentals compensate for it and set the mood for the events in the film.
Despite most of the film's successes, i felt it was overall choppy from sequence to sequence. It didn't flow smoothly. The only time the film did an outstanding time with the lighting and hallucinogenic visual effects was during Sting's nightmare. The ambient sound created a suspenseful atmosphere for the most critical breaking point in Sting's life. Overall, the effects still gave the film a natural feel.
The camera angles focus on arch and many close up shots. The medium shots are chosen when appropriate. The film is also great at doing deep focus shots. There was no need for any special visual effects to enhance the scenes, only perfect timing and camera angles.
Sting's main goal was to testify on how pro-wrestling has led him to Christ and how it can be a witness to others. His other goal was to partially debunk the stereotype that wrestlers have no problems being wealthy and famous. His addiction to drugs as an escape from reality was proof of that. Many wrestlers suffer from drug problems and in his case, an identity crisis. The fame and wealth can be a source of frustration rather than a comfort. The film builds an atmosphere where you feel everything that Sting is feeling in every situation. It invokes emotions of fear, depression, despair, frustration, joy, and so forth through not just words, but body language. At the end of the film, Sting's message is that your identity can be made complete through accepting Jesus as your savior. As a Christian myself, i can relate to his experiences. I've reached a breaking point due to the immense pressure i was facing and knew the only solution was to accept Jesus. I've suffered from reoccurring nightmares and a loss of moral identity.
Sting begins by sharing his childhood and what life was like before pro-wrestling. He was swayed into it by Hulk Hogan, the British Bulldogs, Andre the Giant, and others while he was bodybuilding. During the training scene, Sting's trainer gave an inspirational lecture on how to make pro-wrestling "real." This is important as we shall later see Sting's talent grow based on what he's learned and how it affects him personally. Since then, his fame and talent has grown. Shortly after his matrimonial problems, he realizes that it is all vain and empty.
As the story goes on, Sting dabbles in drugs to muster the energy to get by. We see his distress as he becomes irritated by crazed fans. He humorously turn them away as they keep pestering him. Nonetheless he can't help but drown himself in the fame and fanbase that he worked to earn. Sting starts living a double life and it leaves viewers wondering "when will he finally have enough?"
Finally, the most disturbing and rather frightening scene was when Sting had a nightmare. He was lost in confusion, despair, fear, and agony while facing his alter ego. I thought his reactions showed that he was not invincible. He was just as human as anyone else and the character portrayed that side of himself as he screamed for help. He ultimately makes the right choice and because of it, he is a changed man. He realizes he no longer has to be Sting but can finally be himself.
In conclusion, i recommend this film for anyone whether seeking inspiration or curious of his religious convictions. This film would make a great buy for your wrestling DVD collection.