Saturday, 18 August 2012

Culture Shock: What I've Been Watching: Soul Surfer (2011)

Soul Surfer (2011) starring AnnaSophia Robb as Bethany Hamilton has been shown on the Sky Movies channels recently and is currently still viewable on Sky Anytime. I had to write about it because it is a fantastic film adaptation of the heart-wrenching true story of courage, faith and strength when one girl's worst nightmare comes true.

I actually had read about Bethany's story in a Teen Vogue magazine about four years ago

In the movie, and in reality, Bethany was a 13 year-old up-and-coming pro surfer signed with Ripcurl. She headed out on surf practice with her closest fried who had also been recently signed, and as they were floating in the sea a shark ate her arm off. I was trying to think of how to write it without being brash, but that's the horrific truth. Now, in the midst of all that fear and sadness and anger, Bethany Hamilton got herself back out and on the waves, one-armed, less than a month after the accident and she is currently a successful surf-girl!

The film stays surprisingly close to the true story, with scenes inspired by the true video clips made by Bethany's own brother during her journey on her road to recovery. The casting from Dennis Quaid and Helen Hunt as Bethany's parents right the way through to Carrie Underwood as the caring church minister feels so genuine, never contrived, and each and every part is played with a clear emotional connection to the real-life hardship which Bethany, her family and friends endured.

My favorite scene of the film is where Bethany connects with a Thai child during a trip to Phuket to provide tsunami relief. This scene puts Bethany's story into context with the global goings-on which ultimately helped her to heal as she was required to be strong for others. During this scene we see Bethany helping a little boy back into the ocean for the first time since the tsunami and the happiness and pride which radiates from the actress's face demonstrates the selflessness which inspired the role.

The general message of the film sums up Bethany's story as far as I can tell. The message is, 'Love is bigger than any tidal wave or any fear' which I find so inspiring. Aside from the beauty of soul which emanates from this film's moral, everything from the scenery to the music works perfectly throughout and I just felt to in-tune with the whole story that I had to write this mini-review, even though Soul Surfer (2011) isn't a brand new film!

Props to the real-life Bethany Hamilton and her family for emerging stronger than before through such a difficult experience, and also I'd have to say *high-five* to the entire cast for playing their roles in such an honest, organic and warm way. I was really touched.

Have you heard Bethany's story before? Who inspires you to be brave and strong? Have you ever had to heal after a terrible accident?

Love and kisses

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  1. I read the book she wrote about the ordeal quite a few years ago now. I found it really touching that even after her ordeal, she still got back on a board because she was so passionate about it. x
    Island Girl Insights ♥

    1. I know, she's just so brave!