Film Grade: C+/B-
|AnnaSophia Robb in Soul Sufer|
I remember when I first heard about Bethany Hamilton's heroic story and being amazed at her resilience and fearlessness. Soul Surfer sounded promising about how honestly it would portray her story.
Honest it was. Although it’s not a gem in of itself as a film, it’s the heart of the story that makes it worthwhile. You have to get past obvious and sometimes cheesy screenplay that lacks a certain flow and has imperfect acting. Crying on queue, etc. You can tell they’re acting, rather than becoming their characters.
And while AnnaSophia Robb lacks the perfection of Elle Fanning in Super 8, she nevertheless has enough of the heart that Bethany Hamilton’s story requires. It certainly lives on in this film.
What impressed me most and left me pleasantly surprised was the courageous, unashamed display of Bethany’s faith. I’m sure she had some say in that, because it was clearly a huge part of her overcoming the accident and the aftermath that followed it. It was because of her faith in God that she got through that ordeal. Through it, she learned that she wasn’t alive to surf, but to love. And that surfing without her arm could play a role in that.
Bethany’s faith in the film is huge reason it’s a courageous movie. Add to this Bethany’s unshakable will and desire to get back up after being smashed to the ground. Those two things together made this film worthwhile to watch, showing just one faucet of the beauty of the human will, and what it can do when merged with God’s.
Not to mention that we could learn a thing or two by Bethany’s example when bad things happen to us. When it happens, we should take a step back, gain some perspective and see how blessed we really are.