If you aren’t sure what The Marvel Lockdown is about, you can find out everything you need to know here. The basic premise is this:
- I am watching every Marvel Cinematic Universe film in order, starting with Captain America: The First Avenger.
- After each film, I am going to share the key lesson(s) from the film I’ve just watched.
- Each film will also be rated out of five stars by myself and my sister (meet her here) with a one-sentence review at the end.
We watched… Captain Marvel
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ – It’s definitely re-watchable and the chemistry between the cast members is brilliant but Captain Marvel was not as funny as I remembered. Also, being a fan of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., I really wanted more Agent Colson. (Katy)
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ – Excellent film, funny moments and Samuel L. Jackson is iconic but the storyline is a little simplistic at times. (Steph)
Captain Marvel is a fantastic film. Though she was, thankfully, under-utilised in Endgame, Carol Danvers’ origin film is a fantastic film. It offers plenty of twists the first time you watch. Even on a second viewing, it’s still pretty funny, with that brilliant mix of comedy, action, dialogue and emotion that Marvel Studios has really developed a knack for.
It also tackles a really tough question through the medium of storytelling. And it isn’t the kind of question that you’d expect from a film series that has basically been dissecting the American psyche for the last 10 years. (Civil War, anyone?) The (SPOILER) flipped narrative of the Skrulls going from villain to victim was a shock for everyone, which we can learn valuable lessons from. However, Nerdsync has already done a great video about that particular theme.
Instead, I want to focus on one particular scene. In this scene, the true power and value of friendship are stripped bare for everyone to see.
Friendship doesn’t have to die
In this scene, Vers has just walked back into Maria’s life after six years. As in SIX YEARS WHEN THEY THOUGHT VERS (A.K.A. CAROL DANVERS) WAS DEAD! She could have freaked out, been super awkward, or refused to believe her and kicked Vers, Fury and the whole gang out the door. Most normal people would have done those things.
Realistically, if you don’t see someone for six years then your friendship is going to weaken. Friendship takes time and energy to maintain. Even the most understanding friend in the world will eventually give up if there is no reciprocal effort at the other end. We’ve all been there and some of us have probably let those friendships die.
Okay, so Captain Marvel is a Hollywood film and that obviously means everything will work out perfectly. We shouldn’t be surprised that their friendship quite so magically resurrects from the (not quite literal) grave. The rest of us just get to look on and wonder whether our friendships could take that hit.
Carol and Maria’s friendship appears to be unbreakable. It’s an example of the kind of near-legendary sisterhood that is lauded by women all over the world, from hardcore feminists through to conservative evangelicals. There is a reason why we refer to it as a sisterhood. The blood-connection of family implies something that goes deeper than water; it isn’t superficial.
We’re all looking for that level of relationship. Whether it is from family, friends, or romantic attachments, part of being human is to desire and crave deep relationships. We crave these deep relationships because we were created by a relational God in His image. Part of that means that we are designed to not just be in relationship but to need it.
Friendship in lockdown
Let’s get real now. This post should have gone up over a week ago. I watched Captain Marvel two weekends ago. It’s been a really tough post to write and I’m pretty sure this has something to do with my reaction to lockdown.
A natural introvert, I’ve found myself disappearing from my friends and coming up with all kinds of reasons why. The honest reason is that it’s a good excuse for stopping investing in friendships, even the seemingly unbreakable ones. Unbreakable friendships are scary because in the real world they always break.
Yet the Bible tells us that unbreakable friendships are a real thing!
A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.Proverbs 18v24
Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.John 15v13 (said by Jesus)
These verses make it clear that unbreakable friendship does exist. When read in the light of Jesus’ crucifixion, it becomes clear we also have an example of what this friendship looks like. Jesus himself makes the connection between sacrifice and friendship in John 15, only four chapters before He is crucified.
Friendship after lockdown
Yet, like Carol and Maria, Jesus’ friendship with His disciples lasts beyond the grave. The difference is that Jesus actually died then came back AND He remembered who His important people were. Literal death couldn’t break His friendship with His disciples. From a breakfast beach barbecue through to showing His wounds to them, Jesus was willing to invest in His friends no matter the situation. Jesus still made the effort to be a good friend!
Now Jesus was perfect. As in real- historical-person-perfect, not fictional-superhero-perfect like Captain Marvel. So it will feel hard to have the unbreakable bonds of friendship that Jesus showed towards His disciples. It might feel impossible – it does to me.
But here is the reality of the situation. The moment that we choose to follow Christ, we are called to imitate Him and become more like Him (1 Corinthians 11v1). That includes working towards loving our friends so much that we would lay down our lives for them.
This won’t be easy. We can’t wait for lockdown to be over before we start investing again. Struggling with the group video calls and strange new way that we do community now? Show up at those video calls and do your best to join in but also be honest with your friends that you are struggling. Spending all your time on group calls but never talking one-to-one with a friend, digging beneath the surface level of a group call? Call the person you used to chat to every week face-to-face and stop booking up all your time with group calls.
Friendship after lockdown isn’t going to be like Carol and Maria’s. It definitely won’t be like Jesus’ friendship with His disciples after the resurrection. Despite all of this, if we choose to follow Jesus’ example in our own lives, when we are together again our friendships will be more beautiful for it.