During the trials of his ordeals, of which there are many, he prays to God and makes this promise, "Lord if you save me from this I will serve you the rest of my life." The movie prays this once, but Louie sates in an interview that he prayed that prayer thousands of times.
The movie has a great deal of impact and is very intense. In fact it is so intense that it could be overwhelming for some. By that I mean that Louie faces death and torture on may occasions during the film, what he suffers in his life is almost beyond belief. It would seem that God answered Louie's prayer in that he did survive until he was 97 years old. So if you see the movie you should be prepared. I would not recommend this movie for children, not only is the movie intense, Louie was quite a delinquint in his younger years and there are some scenes of mischief in the beginning of the film.
When you see what Louie goes through and the difficulties he endures you wonder how a person could come out of it and remain a well adjusted human being. He returns home to his family after the war ends. This is where the movie ends, there is an epilouge that gives more of his story, but the movie is just a preview of the real story.
Louie didn't leave his time as a POW behind him when he came home. He continued to have nightmares of his captivity. He vows in his heart to go back to Japan and kill the man who tortured him in the POW camp. He falls in love and gets married, but his wife is unprepared to deal with his post tramatic stress. He begins to drink to relieve his pain and passes out everynight from drinking only to have his nightmares worsen to the point of strangling his wife in his sleep thinking she is was the enemy. She tells him she wants a divorce, but she has recently accepted the Lord, and will give him another chance if he goes to the Billy Graham Crusade which has just begun in Los Angeles.
He agrees and while attending his first meeting he hears the gospel. In an interview with CBS he says that if you had asked him if he believed in God and Jesus Christ he would have said yes, but he was not living a life that proved he was saved from his sins. At that meeting he recalled all of the prayers that he prayed asking God to deliver him from his ordeals. Louie had forgotten all of those prayers and had not made one move to serve God since returning home. That very night at the crusade he walked forward to accept Jesus as his savior and make good on his promise to serve the Lord.
This dramatically changed his life to the point that he felt led to return to Japan and forgive his tormentors. He met with them all face to face, however the worst offender was missing, and even years later refused to meet with Louie, but Louie forgave him anyway. Louie said that by not forgiving them it was not hurting them it was hurting him. He firmly believed that you can't hold onto the anger because it ultimately destroys you.
I believe the movie is a must see film because one of the most important lessons from Louie Zamperini's life is that God can deliver you from any amount of spiritual pain and physical abuse. God can heal you of your hurts, he can heal your marraige, and he can deliver you from substance abuse if you turn your life over to him by accepting the salvation of Jesus Christ. If you want to know more I would encourage you to watch the video below, his testimony should be remembered for future generations.