Prime Time Productions // 2006 // 91 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Chief Justice Michael Stailey // February 8th, 2007
You are holding in your hand a great secret of the universe.
When Rhonda Byrne hit the lowest point of her life, her daughter handed her a copy of Wallace Wattles' The Science of Getting Rich, a 1910 book written for coal miners looking to improve their station in life. The concepts so inspired her that she began a quest to fully understand its potential and absorb all similar teachings traversing all the way back to the Emerald Tablet in 3000 BC. Drawing upon the teachings of some of the world's greatest authors, inventors, philosophers, and spiritual leaders, all of whose lives were rooted firmly in The Secret, Rhonda joined forces with producer Paul Harrington and director Drew Heriot to conceive The Secret as a synergizing of voluminous historical evidence, updated and energized by 21st century thought leaders.
Now, before we go any further, let me preface this by saying the potential audience for The Secret hold three different mindsets -- those whose minds are open and receptive to having their belief systems challenged, those who are skeptical but willing to listen, and those who firmly believe they know how the world works and anyone who challenges those beliefs is a con artist. If you fall into that last camp, you can stop reading right now. This DVD is not for you. For everyone else, let's look at the concepts contained within.
We've all had strange experiences in life -- thinking of someone and a minute later they call, getting good news just exactly when you needed it, riding high on an extended winning streak. Most write it off as mere coincidence or luck. The Secret affirms there is much more to it than that. Each of us possesses a series of filters we strap on every morning. When your mind is operating in a positive state, generating good feelings, our eyes are opened to all the wondrous things that surround us -- the love of family and friends, a passion for our work, smiles from complete strangers, heightened awareness to sights, sounds, tastes, and smells. On the other hand, when your mind is in a negative state, giving off nothing but bad energy, our eyes see only anger, frustration, and despair -- antagonizing neighbors, infuriating family members, horrible traffic, unsatisfying work, fear and mistrust of strangers, sleeplessness, a lack of energy, and unhealthy life habits. What most people fail to realize is that at any given moment, we have complete control over our mindset. It's a choice to be positive or negative. The Secret and its experts want to help teach you to make the positive choice. It's a process of empowerment and retraining. To some it will come easy. Others will have to work at it. But regardless of where you're at in your life, a shift in your thinking, becoming grateful for what you have on a daily basis, will change your world for the better.
Consider the infinite power of the human mind. History has proven time and again that people can move mountains and overcome insurmountable odds simply by putting their minds to it. This is not just new age hocus-pocus. This is not just wishful thinking. This is the force of the human spirit at work. To tap into it requires faith, dedication, and a conscious choice to focus on everything good in life. Medical physicians, NASA scientists, quantum physicists, and survivors share their stories of what some might call miracles. Tales of healing and life changing circumstances show that the enemy is not without, but within. Energy flows, where attention goes. By focusing on fighting disease, fighting debt, fighting each other, and fighting our own thoughts keeps us in a state of fear and lack. It's a self-fulfilling downward spiral, one that we can pull out of at any given time. All you have to do is want it...really want it. This isn't something you can think of once and set it aside. This is a whole new way of thinking you must embrace and live each and every day.
I know the skeptic in you may be saying, "This is crap." If everyone could achieve or receive everything they wanted in life, we'd implode. There are not enough resources to sustain complete peace, happiness, and self-actualization. The experts here wholeheartedly disagree. There's more than enough prosperity to go around. This isn't limited to a certain segment of the population. Everyone can participate. This isn't something you have to purchase expensive equipment or pay a substantial monthly fee to be apart of. This isn't a cult where you have to drink the Kool-Aid or give up who you are to benefit from. All you need do is commit to opening your sense of self awareness, to be grateful for what you have, to laugh, to love, to pursue a life worthy of your talents, skills, abilities, and dreams. Get that dream job. Establish a loving relationship. Follow your passion. Enjoy life. Create magic. Leap and the net will appear.
"We're really now moving into a new era. It's the era where the last frontier is not space, as Star Trek would say, but it's going to be mind." -- Fred Alan Wolf, PhD (Quantum Physicist)
"You were born to add something, to add value to this world, to simply be the best that you can be. Every single thing that you've been through, every single moment that you've come through, were to all prepare you for this moment, right now. You are the creator of your destiny." -- Lisa Nichols (Teacher, Author)
"There's something magnificent about you. Regardless of what has happened to you in your life, the moment you begin to think properly, there's power within you that will begin to emerge. It will take over your life. It will feed you. It will clothe you. It will guide you, protect you, direct you, sustain your very existence, if you let it." -- Reverend Dr. Michael Beckwith (Teacher, Spiritual Leader)
Presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen, The Secret's production values are on par with the best that the Discovery Channel or History Channel have to offer. The bulk of the program is made up of shared wisdom from 23 diverse teachers (talking heads) who come from all walks of life. Some will resonate with you more than others, but all have something valuable to share. Between these segments are event recreations and visual anecdotes to intrigue and inspire. The effects wizards have enhanced every frame of these 91 minutes. The Dolby 5.1 surround mix can be likened to a premiere Disney theme park attraction -- stimulating, reflective, and emotionally charged. Even if you disagree with what's being said -- and there are those who will find reason to -- you won't be bored.
The Secret: Extended Edition is enhanced with bonus materials that include a behind the scenes featurette, a deleted sequence, a summary overview, and outtakes, as well as an audio commentary track from producer Paul Harrington and executive producer Rhonda Byrne (which bears no connection to what's being shown on screen, but rather is a spirited discussion on the origins of the show and the path they took in creating it). The original version of the film, released in 2006, is currently out of print. The difference between the two is the absence of author Esther Hicks, whose book Ask and it is Given was source material for The Secret. The decision to remove Esther from the project was her own, based on a discomfort with the multi-tiered marketing machine being built around subsequent DVD and book releases. It is this very business plan that may ultimately undermine the message and prove the undoing for The Secret. Visiting the official web site will show links to each of the film's contributors' individual businesses, their seminars, and books. While I have no problem with promoting the work of your partners, there are many potential viewers who may never access the film's real value thanks to the overall project's growing similarities to the Tony Robbins empire or the Landmark Forum. Rhonda Byrne and her team must be very careful not to cross that line, in reality or perception.
The court finds The Secret not guilty, but sternly warns the producers not to let the message be swallowed by the business. The updating of these ancient, well-documented concepts for a new generation is beneficial to us all. Let's ensure the people who will make this world a better place have low cost, easy access to The Secret. It's something they will watch time and again, and recommend to friends and family.
Review content copyright © 2007 Michael Stailey; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2013 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
Studio: Prime Time Productions
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround (English)
Running Time: 91 Minutes
Release Year: 2006
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Audio Commentary by Producer Paul Harrington and Executive Producer Rhonda Byrne
* The Secret Summary
* Behind the Scenes Featurette
* Deleted Sequence
* Official Site