Brookwell-McNamara Entertainment, Enticing Entertainment, Island Film Group

AnnaSophia Robb, Dennis Quaid, Helen Hunt, Carrie Underwood, Jeremy Sumpter, Ross Thomas, Lorraine Nicholson, Kevin Sorbo, Craig T. Nelson, Chris Brochu

You may remember the story of Bethany Hamilton of Hawaii who was a budding surfing pro in the making who was attacked by a shark while surfing and had her arm bitten off. This is the movie version of her story of the loss and redemption of a good Christian girl in a good Christian family when something really awful happened that changed things forever. She went through a lot but made an attempt to return to the tournament circuit for herself, her family, and all the people around the world who looked up to her.

First and foremost, this is not a documentary. It’s a movie based on the book written by Bethany Hamilton. So it is not guaranteed to be 100% accurate, but it appears to be pretty close to what happened. Bethany is played by AnnaSophia Robb who did an excellent job of handling the difficult role and she did an excellent job. Wearing a green sock so that her right arm could be removed by the camera must have been a hoot. Her parents are played by Dennis Quaid and Helen Hunt. They are pretty good in the role of a driving father who doesn’t want his daughter to give up and a caring mother who believes in the strength of her daughter but is torn by her dad pushing her so hard. This film deals with the depression and sorrow, the issues with the paparazzi who were unrelenting, and the hard work and determination to succeed because other people were behind her and wanted her to.

Bethany is a strong Christian girl, and so this is naturally a Christian movie. This irritates some people who resent anything that is about a particular religion. Isn’t there a part of the constitution that bans anyone in America anywhere talking about anything religious??? Oh well, it does, and if that offends you, then stay away. But there is no way to tell this story without the religious content as that is what Bethany is about. It’s also very predictable. The quarterback will through the impossible hail Mary pass with no time left on the clock to win the big game in the end. They always do. But way beyond that, this is a warm and touching film about a family that is traditional (as traditional as a Hawaiian family can be with Thanksgiving on the beach!) and values that are valuable. “Ohana means family”, Lilo told us, and that’s what this is about. Excuse the joke, but anyone in this family would give their left arm to exchange places with Bethany. There are also scenes of Bethany handing out food to the tsunami victims in Phuket. This is also a part of Bethany’s life. Her friendship with her best friend Alaina Blanchard (Lorraine Nicholson) is also a key to her story. Alaina couldn’t face Bethany after the attack, but their friendship eventually endured. This is a strong family values film, and aside from the shark attack which is a bit much for a little kid to watch, it’s great for families. They did the shark attack in the best way they could and it’s not overly graphic, but very shocking just the same. But all in all, this is a good family film with good values and strong family ties and is well worth watching. I would also like to be able to see a true documentary on the events and the aftermath. I should mention that Carrie Underwood also has a small role as the religious leader Sarah Hill, who is a mentor to Bethany. It’s nice that Carrie can get an acting role like this that is not too strenuous so that she can sink her teeth into the movie business, as I suspect she has a future there as well. She’s a nice person.

Also, during the closing credits the real people are shown in scenes that closely match those in the movie. This gives you a feeling of what inspired by true events really means. Good film!

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog



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    Ed's Review Dot Com » Movie Review – Soul Surfer (2011) {PG} « said

    August 7 2011 @ 3:06 pm

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    Ed's Review Dot Com » Movie Review – Soul Surfer (2011) {PG} « Christian Media Monitor said

    August 7 2011 @ 8:32 pm

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