As I write this we just got back from a movie. I rarely see a movie in the theater for a variety of reasons. One is I am old enough to have a hard time paying nine dollars to see a movie. Another is that too many movies have things in them that would embarrass me. And third I usually only go to a movie with my family.
So my wife and I decided to go on a date today, Hooray! We had been talking about going to a movie on a date since the beginning of the year but the couple times we looked at the current movies we couldn't find one that both of us would like. Our tastes in movies run very different which I may have to blog about another time. But this movie seemed to fit all the criteria (see the trailer at the bottom of this blog) and I had read a good review by Chris Hicks (click here to get to it).
And I was right! It was really great. But first there are two things that are important to note: One: modesty is not embraced by much of Christianity and secondly surfer girls apparently are not high on the modesty meter either. If you can accept that problem the movie was superb. As Lisa and I discussed the movie afterwards we realized that the immodesty was not done at all in a sexual manner. It is a bit jarring initially but is fairly easy to overlook because there is no sexual energy from the script, the actors or the camera work.
I'm not a good judge of acting and all that so I'm not claiming the acting is great (although it may have been), but I was very impressed with the story which is based on a true story of a young woman who was just budding into a great surfer when she was attacked by a shark and her arm was bit off. The young woman's name is Bethany Hamilton who is played by AnnaSophia Robb. I remember reading about this young woman a few years ago and the courage she showed. Helen Hunt from Mad About You was the mother and Dennis Quaid played the father, both showed some good and accurate portrayals of trying to be strong through such a harrowing experience.
The movie shows that excellently. I am amazed at how well they were able to show the struggles and difficulty overcoming both the mental and physical trauma (considering it is just a movie less than two hours). It is amazing how they were able to picture the actress with one arm, it was digitally done (since the actress actually does have a left arm) but worked excellently. Incidentally at the end of the movie they have some video footage of the Bethany Hamilton (the real girl and her parents) which is enjoyable to see as well.
The message, to not give up in the face of extreme difficulties, is well done. The message that faith in Christ can help us through our trials is present, and may feel strong because it is usually left out, but is not heavy handed. There was even some meaningful religious imagery shown after the attack in a spiritual experience she had. The message that family is hugely important is grandly shown. In addition the photography is beautiful (the scenery) and amazing (some of the surfing and shots underwater), thoroughly enjoyable. In addition the music was great (I was especially attracted to the instrumental pieces as you might imagine and one pop song that was actually written by Bethany Hamilton according to the credits. This movie is a great movie to impress on each of us including children that faith in Christ really can be a strength. I recommend it highly. This is a family friendly film, but I would suggest forewarning about the immodesty before going to see it. This one is worth watching more than once.