Indomitable: Soul Surfer inspirational, but realistic?
Soul Surfer is based on the true story of Bethany Hamilton, a champion surfer who in her early teens was attacked by a shark and lost almost all her left arm. One month later, she was back on a surfboard, has since won several championships, and is at age 21 a professional surfer. All of those are remarkable facts.
My problem with the movie is that it makes it look too simple. Bethany has a loving family of professional surfers and a big, friendly dog. She lives in walking distance of the beach. She was and is a committed churchgoer, she got great support from her spiritual leaders, and she was an indomitable optimist with a fierce competitive spirit.
But there had to be more to it than that. I applaud her faith and spirit. I give her full credit for her determination. I realize she is a great athlete. But I feel something missing. There had to be dark nights of the soul. Times of grief and rage. The temptation of nihilism. The lure of despair. Can a 13-year-old girl lose an arm and keep right on smiling? Full review.