Rich-Laughing-525x266The official trailer for Ragamuffin was released last week. Produced by Kid Brothers of Saint Frank, it’s a biopic focused on the life of musician, Rich Mullins. Here’s the trailer…

As a guy who loved Rich’s music and followed his career over the years, I’m very excited to see this movie. Internet chatter has been positive and there are a few things in the trailer that are intriguing to me as both a fan and minister.

Toward the end of Rich’s career, there was talk of a girl. Rich never said much about it in publications or concert, but there were rumors that someone in his past had broken his heart and that Rich committed his life to celibacy not long after that. Most of that is speculation, but the trailer seems to hint at a love story here. It could be purely dramatization for the film’s sake, but it’s a worthwhile effort. The relationships we have do shape us into who we become.

Rich liked to drink and he usually smelled like cigarette smoke. Strange to think that was a big deal in the late 80’s and 90’s, but it was. The trailer features a beer bottle in one shot and a cool framed shot with smoke around rich as he looks down. This may not seem like a big deal, but Rich did drink and smoke. It’s impressive if the film does portray Rich honestly enough to share that side of his life (albeit briefly, I’m expecting.)

Movie trailers have to build suspense for viewers and often give away too much story line. This trailer falls victim to that a bit, but it does hint at the ugliness that ended up consuming Christian music publishing. The trailer’s pretty heavy handed with a few lines from the “record label” guy shouting at Rich, but I wonder we’ll find the subtext of this movie to focus on those corrupt things that seemed to challenge Rich’s idealism. Is it possible, this movie shows us the beginning of the end of CCM as we knew it?

I’ve read a few of Manning’s books but never found him to be all that inspiring. To me, his very public failings made it hard for me to be a fan. However, Manning was reportedly a big deal in Rich’s life and the trailer seems to have at least some scenes where we see Manning and Mullins becoming friends. Who knows how authentic the film will be, but it will be interesting to see how the mentoring element is portrayed.

The complaints about the trailer so far have centered on two things – music and hair. Apparently, there’s some controversy about the music used in the film and the “fake” look of the actor’s wigs. That stuff doesn’t bother me because they got the shirt right. The trailer features the actor playing Rich in a grey striped shirt that is either exactly the same as one Rich wore all the time or at least a close representation. I think that attention to detail is pretty great.

The film will be in limited release, but I’m hoping there one near me. I can’t wait to see it.

Any Rich Mullins fans out there? How’s the trailer look to you?


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