DRAMA; 1hr 46min
STARRING: AnnaSophia Robb, Dennis Quaid, Helen Hunt
Family values: from left, Quaid, Hunt and Robb
The early scenes of Soul Surfer are a rush of salt-crusted bubbles as surfer Bethany Hamilton (Robb) and her ultra-toned olds (Quaid and Hunt) work the crashing waves by their Hawaii home. Water baby Bethany is as at ease in the sparkle-arkling water as out. But crashing waves have depths and in 2003, at age 13, Bethany is attacked by a tiger shark and loses her left arm along with 60 per cent of her blood.
It’s here that her story — based on her 2004 memoir — flips sides as Bethany and her family grapple with her new and traumatic normal. Bethany shows remarkable composure and generosity of spirit; still, the loss of a limb is seismic. Her Christian faith and supportive circle are two massive pluses in her re-emergence. But this persuasive love letter to her spirit is all about the power of one that takes her back into the surf and onward to personal and professional triumphs. Squeaky clean and sentiment-drenched? Sometimes that’s the only way to play it.