Sunday, August 14, 2011

Soul Surfer: Movie Review


Without the constant presence of God, "Soul Surfer" would have been more inspiring.

Based on the true story of soul surfer Bethany Hamilton, “Soul Surfer” is close to the true story, just exaggerated to make sure we don’t miss any subtle points on how perfect everybody is. Wikipedia even defines the term “soul surfer” incase you couldn’t catch the meaning that it’s about a girl who surfs for the sheer pleasure of surfing. God has put surfing in her soul, if you will. 2011

Directed by: Sean McNamara

Screenplay by: too many to name

Starring: AnnaSophia Robb, Dennis Quaid and Helen Hunt

The event that has defined Bethany’s life and the plot of this movie, is that at age 13 she was attacked by a shark and lost her arm. To me, and at least to some of the filmmakers, the important point here (and amazing triumph of courage) is how she maintained her composure and paddled herself back to shore. It’s the right thing to do and it’s what saved her life even though most people probably wouldn’t have been able to remain so calm. The other half of the filmmakers, and likely the real people depicted in the film, believe that it was God and her Christian faith that saved her.

I probably should have read up on what the real Bethany Hamilton is like in real life as it would have saved me from suffering through all the preachiness. They are so sure of how good they are that the film even saw them jet off to Thailand after the devastating tsunami where, with the love of God and faith in surfing, they saved the entire country from ruin. I would love to know what some of the non-religious-based, third world country charitable organizations think of that.

As the old adage says, the best actors are able to make those around them better. That must be true here as young AnnaSophia Robb is best when opposite Dennis Quaid and Helen Hunt. The rest of the time she only has to appear beautiful (despite having only one arm) as the character really is just a silver-spoon, privileged mermaid. I, personally, would like to give her more credit, but even the movie tells us, she didn’t do anything herself, it was all God’s plan.