Bethany Hamilton is a surfer.
She’s spent her life in the ocean. Her mother always said she was part mermaid. She’s in the surfing competitions and she has a good chance of winning, if she can beat Malina. Life is beautiful.
And then the shark attacks.
Bethany’s life is about to change forever.
In My Opinion…
Running Time: 106 minutes
Soul Surfer is an amazing, riveting, unbelievable movie. It’s based on the true story of Bethany Hamilton, who lost her arm to a shark bite in 2003 but still continued surfing. The movie is excellently filmed. But if you’re known to cry during films, keep a tissue box handy because this one is a tear-jerker.
The filming, effects and acting were all superb. It felt real, from the second it began, through the shark-attack, the competitions and the trials, to the very end. You feel Bethany’s (played by Annasophia Robb) pain in such a real way. Her acting is pitch-perfect. The family relationship is really lovely, with two older brothers and a mother and father. And they all surf! Those scenes are spectacular, with the ocean and the massive waves and those boards zipping all over the place.
The movie captured the story so well—all the emotions, the pain, the trials, the ocean, the relationships. It sticks with you long after it’s finished and really makes you think. I spent the rest of the afternoon wondering what it’d be like to have no arm. How my life would change. Bethany’s attitude and reactions are utterly and unbelievably amazing. One of the first things she asks, while she’s still in hospital, is when can she get back in the water? Wouldn’t you never want to see the ocean again? But no. She wants to be in the ocean, she wants to surf, and she wants to compete. The will and courage and strength there is dumbfounding.
Even with the shark attack, the movie isn’t exceptionally graphic. There is blood and panic and, of course, she is missing an arm after all, but they’ve filmed it really well so it stays a family movie. Saying that, I still wouldn’t recommend a too-young audience.
I think the best part of movie was the continual emphasis on Christianity. After the shark attack, Bethany goes on mission trip to Phuket, Thailand. They’ve just had a tsunami and the devastation there is absolutely horrific, such a sharp reminder to Bethany that she didn’t lose “everything” like these people. The people are terrified of the water now, but Bethany gets in the ocean and starts playing with a surf board, trying to get a little kid to come in with her. It’s such a special, sweet scene.
I thought the movie was really well done and I enjoyed every minute of it. Okay…well, almost enjoyed every minute of it. It’s kind of stressful hugging a pillow and watching her surfing and knowing, any minute now, a shark is going to leap out and bite her arm off. That is really awful. But the surfing! It’s such an amazing art. One of my favourite parts was seeing them surging through the water and whipping across waves.
This is an excellent, must-watch movie!