Soul Surfer is one of those movies that a single parent searches for to help teach lasting lessons about life while also providing some enjoyment for the children. The movie is based on a true story about a young surfer (Bethany Hamilton, played by Anna Sophia Robb) who is attacked by a shark, losing her entire left arm, and how her faith and her family help her through the experience. It is full of genuine emotion of all kinds, with plenty of laughs, and the characters are believable and likable. It’s also a cinematic feast for the eyes, taking place in Hawaii, with thrilling surfing shots both under and above water, and plenty of beautiful scenery.
Though hard to watch, the painful parts are such a learning experience that the viewer will be a richer person for it. Movie goers will experience what the young woman had to go through as they watch, as well as the grief and helplessness of her parents, and find, with them all, the way through to the other side. After the attack, the young woman nearly dies from the blood loss and shock, but survives. She starts out trying to be positive, leaning on her faith and the love of family and friends, but soon faces the tough realities of her new disability. She deals with issues that many parents have to guide their children through. She loses confidence in her looks, feeling inadequate and unempowered, and almost loses everything that had been her identity until that point. She tries to re-enter the surfing world and has some humiliating defeats, leading her to quit at first. She questions her faith and God’s purpose for her in this tragedy.
It was not until she experiences a mission trip to Thailand to help victims of the tsunami that she learns that in giving herself away she learns to find a new path in her life. She returns to surfing, with many struggles, and gradually begins winning titles once again. Her faith was challenged and strengthened, and her family and friends also found a deeper faith and grew closer by watching this young girl face her reality and triumph. The young woman is a heroine at such a young age, having faced one of the toughest experiences anyone can think of, and being victorious. Highly recommended for all. This movies demonstrates, once again, that only in facing hard things and persevering can one become a victor, and experience all that one can be in this life.
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