November 8, 2011
Review - " Soul Surfer " - (on DVD) By Roland Hansen
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Directed by: Sean McNamara
Starring: AnnaSophia Robb, Helen Hunt, Dennis Quaid, Lorraine Nicholson,
Kevin Sorbo, Carrie Underwood, Ross Thomas, Chris Brochu
Starring AnnaSophia Robb as Bethany Hamilton, and Helen Hunt and Dennis
Quaid as Bethany's parents, the movie boasts an impressive cast for a
faith-based film. There are even appearances by Kevin Sorbo, Craig T. Nelson,
and Carrie Underwood.
Soul Surfer chronicles Bethany's love of surfing, her attack by a tiger shark in
which her left arm was bitten off - almost killing her, and her rise from the ashes
back into professional surfing. Through her fall and rise, Bethany learns that her
true purpose in life isn't necessarily surfing, but to love others. The movie
contains very clear references to Bethany's faith in God and Christ, and the
questions she faces after losing her arm and beginning the long road back to a
'normal' life.Her story is definitely an encouraging one, and I think it will move
many to rise above the odds to reach for the dreams they so desperately want to
achieve, regardless of the adversities that life throws our way.
AnnaSophia shines in this film, along with her supporting cast. AnnaSophia was
Violet Beauregarde in the 2005 remake of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
and Leslie Burke in Bridge to Terabithia. She does such a fine job of portraying a
young girl who faces a crisis head on and decides to challenge the odds and the
opposition. I never tire of seeing Dennis Quaid in a film - I've always believed he would make a great Indiana Jones, and
Helen Hunt, although she is starting to show some age, plays her role beautifully as always.
Although the movie is rooted in a faith-based story, it didn't feel to me like it was drowning in Biblical references the whole
time. I know that some films/stories feel their purpose is
to cram a sermon down someone's throat just because
they've gotten someone's attention with a promising
premise. This movie does no such thing. The film has the
potential to spark meaningful conversations regarding crisis,
adversity, purpose, family, and friendship. Even the way
Bethany reacts in the face of her relentless opponents is
a moral lesson in itself, one more kids and adults alike
could benefit from.
This is a great family film, but also a film to watch if you just
enjoy a great, encouraging and uplifting movie.
Especially touching are the home movies and surfing films
of the real life Bethany Hamilton shown during the closing