Monday, April 18, 2011

Review: Soul Surfer

Grade: A-

Bethany Hamilton was born and raised in Hawaii near the North Shore. Everyone in her family are hardcore surfers and she has spent most of her life in the ocean surfing. She dreams of becoming a professional surfer and has been working hard to achieve that goal. She recently won an amateur surfing competition and is now training for a regional competition. One day, while surfing with some family friends, she was lying on her board in the water when out of nowhere a shark pops out of the water and bites off her left arm. She manages to survive the attack and is instantly determined to get back into the water and start surfing again. She begins to struggle as she tries to overcome her new disability and is determined to not let it slow her down or hinder her in any way as she fights to achieve her goals.

Soul Surfer tells a very inspiring true story about overcoming adversity. I remember hearing about this story when it first happened and so I was pretty excited to see the movie, and it didn’t let me down. It was incredible to see how calm Bethany Hamilton remains after the attack, though she may have been in a state of extreme shock, and then for the most part she seems to handle the loss of her arm shockingly well. It is great to see how close she was with her family and how they all worked together to help her out and they didn’t try to discourage her from getting back in the water but rather where very excited and happy to help her get back on the board. There is one moment that really touched me for some reason, the family is sitting down to have lunch shortly after Bethany returns from the hospital and she insists that the family hold hands and give thanks, her brother, who is sitting to her left, doesn’t know what to do since she doesn’t have a hand to hold anymore, she looks at him, takes his hand and puts in on her shoulder. I don’t know why I liked this moment so much, but it really spoke to me. It was also very inspiring to see that while competing, she was offered advantages due to her condition, but she refused to take them. She also thanked one girl, who was constantly rude to her, for still treating her like true competition and ignoring her condition.

This movie does have religious undertones but thankfully they aren’t shoving it in your face like some movies would. They just show that through her faith and her family’s faith, she is encouraged to overcome her adversity. I was very thankful that the religious parts of this movie were subtle and not a main part of the story.

AnnaSophia Robb (Race to Witch Mountain, Bridge to Terabithia) plays the lead role of Bethany Hamilton. She hasn’t done a lot yet but every time I see her in something, she impresses me more and more. I really think this girl has a ton of potential and I hope to see her in more lead roles like this. She did an amazing job with the role. Dennis Quaid (G.I. Joe, Flight of the Phoenix) plays the role of Tom Hamilton, Bethany’s dad. I have always liked Quaid and he did a great job in this movie, really enjoyable. Helen Hunt (What Women Want, Twister) plays the role of Cheri Hamilton, Bethany’s mom. I don’t know what happened to her, she was great and then I haven’t seen her in anything for a decade. She was fantastic in this role and I hope that it’s the first step in a Helen Hunt comeback. The movie also stars Carrie Underwood, Ross Thomas, Lorraine Nicholson, Kevin Sorbo, Cody Gomes and more.

Soul Surfer is a great and truly inspiration movie. It really exceeded my expectations and I can’t recommend this movie enough. For those out there like me who don’t like movies with heavy handed religious messages, see this movie, the religious aspects are very subtle. This movie is fantastic and very well made, get out and see it if you can.

No comments:

Post a Comment