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Holabird Advocate

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Wednesday, April 13, 2011
When I saw that "Soul Surfer" was at the Luxury, I decided to make plans for another night out. "Soul Surfer" is a movie based on actual events in the life of Bethany Hamilton. Hamilton became a media darling after having her arm bitten off by a shark when she was 13 years old. The film has been a while in the making, but the final product was worth the wait.

The story seems unbelievable, almost miraculous. Yet, when one thinks of it, is there anything that could be more incredible than the story of someone who has their arm bitten off by a shark, loses 60% of her blood, lives to tell about it, and goes on to pursue professional surfing despite having only one arm. Bethany Hamilton IS a living miracle!

I heard about this movie on KLOVE Radio. However I never thought that a movie with such a small budget ($18 Mil) would play in Kornfield County, but 2000 theatres were selected, and Luxury was one such movie house. I'm glad I got to see it.

The studio had some concerns that too many faith based elements in this movie would keep secular audiences from wanting to see it. I must say that the film didn't overdo on those faith based elements as some so-called Christian movies do.

Carrie Underwood plays Bethany's youth pastor, and the role called for her to quote scripture. This caused some controversy, but after all, that is part of what a youth minister would do. Dennis Quaid as Bethany's father reads from the bible, which was another scene that almost didn't happen. I'm glad that the Hamilton family fought for those scenes, because it shows the true life faith that they lived out.

The movie didn't shy away from some of the more difficult parts of adusting to the way things had become. There was no typical Hollywood style happy ending, because the story hasn't ended yet. This movie inspires withput getting preachy, that that is it's best quality. Well that, and the lovely Helen Hunt! Bad things happen, and we deal! This movie shows that if you can't get over your troubles, then surfing around them is a good Plan B.

I read one critic who noted that there are people who have bad things happen, but don't rely on "an imaginary deity" to get them through it. I wonder if anyone would want to watch a movie like that! Anyone who watches this movie will be blessed, whether they want to be or not! I was!

One of the best lines in the film was after her father told her that training for pro surfing would not be easy with only one arm, Bethany said, "I don't care about easy, but give me possible".

That's a good message for anyone, even those with no faith at all!

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