Soul Surfer Main Character

Category: Character
Last Updated: 12 Mar 2023
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I ask you this; if given the chose, would you choose faith over fear? Love over hate? Triumph over failure? Extraordinary over average? Bethany Hamilton, just thirteen at the time, lost her left arm when a fourteen-foot tiger shark ripped it off while she was surfing with friends in Hawaii.

Soul Surfer, the inspirational tale brings us into Hamilton’s life and recovery process after the attack. With nothing but positive messages about going against all odds and overcoming the toughest of obstacles, an enticingly unique storyline, and captivating characters; Soul Surfer is a must watch. This film has many positive lessons to be taken to heart throughout the film. However, the strongest messages are that with a bit of perspective and the support of our friends and family. You can make it through the worst of tragedies. Our family and friends are often our support system. With them, anything becomes possible.

Tom Hamilton, Bethany’s father (played by Dennis Quaid) tells Bethany when she is ready to quit surfing after the attack; “That shark didn’t kill you, you are still here, still alive, with a family who loves you”. Bethany may have lost an arm, but that is not to say she has lost everything. Throughout this uphill battle, Bethany has her friends and family there for her to help her get back on the board with confidence and to turn surfing back into the joyful hobby she initially fell in love with.

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Similarly, perspective is everything. It is our outlook on life and how we are able to see and eventually come to terms with life’s simplest and toughest decisions. During one of the towns youth nights, Sarah Hill, the youth group’s pastor (played by Carrie Underwood) says “It can be hard to make sense of things when you are looking at them really close. The same is true in life, so if you are ever dealing with anything that is just too hard to handle, or does not seem to make much sense, get a new perspective.” After the attack Bethany struggles in finding a reason why this has all happened to her. Why she has lost her arm, why she must learn how to do almost everything again, and how this could be gods plan for her.

Through the guidance of Sarah’s advice in getting a new perspective, and through her own faith, Bethany was able to come to a positive conclusion. With perspective and support you can make it over the highest bumps in the road. The movie’s enticingly unique story creates an everlasting connection between your own life and to the life of Bethany Hamilton’s. Based on true-life events, this story will inspire you to love yourself, and to be thankful for all that you have. When director Sean McNama was asked about the challenges of making this movie and he said “it is about who Bethany really is, and so yeah-there was some give and take on both sides to make it great, but I was like let’s just be true to what she is.”

Since Sean was able to stay so true to whom and what the real Bethany is all about, it makes you really see and have an appreciation for all she has gone through. And furthermore, all the struggles and obstacles she will continue to be faced with throughout the rest of her life. In addition, the special effects of this movie really add on to the overall performance and the reality of the story. AnnaShophia Robb wore a green sleeve on her arm, which was later digitally removed to portray the missing limb. After the shooting of the actual scene took place, the crew would shot a second one without anybody, insuring the background would match with the movie scene.

They had to do this for every scene that Bethany was in, therefore for the majority of the movie. This was difficult because they had to do this without wasting precious amounts of time. The main reason being, they were relying on the weather to hold up. All the extra work and attention to detail paid off, because everything looks realistic, and as a viewer you can remain focused on the story and not the obvious Photoshop. When combing a story line based on true-life events and incredible special effects, you are left with a captivating movie.

Creating relatable and convincing characters is perhaps the hardest aspect in making films. You may know her from movies such as; Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Race to Witch Mountain, or maybe even from Because of Winn-Dixie. AnnaSophia Robb plays the main character of Bethany Hamilton. The character of Bethany is a strong one to say the very least. With her persistence and confidence, she outshines all the other characters, making her relatable. One of the most memorable quotes in this move is said by the character herself, “I do not need easy, I just need possible.” (4) What makes this role so strong is throughout the entire film, you embark on this journey and you wait on Bethany’s character to breakdown, quit, or to lose faith in everything. But she never does.

She shows us her strength, determination and will to find the positive outcomes in all tragic things. Although the character of Bethany Hamilton is extraordinary, Soul Surfer has at least two memorable characters. You may know her from her victory on the fourth season of American Idol, or the story of a small town Oklahoma girl turns platinum recording artist; Carrie Underwood makes her acting debut, playing the inspirational role of the youth group’s pastor-Sarah Hill. Carrie shows that she has the ability to light up a big screen in her movie debut, but it is the character she plays that makes the movie as moving as it is. Sarah Hill tells Bethany “I do not know why terrible things happen to us sometimes, but I have to believe something good is going to come out of this.”

This inspires Bethany to get back into the water, and to not lose faith in not only herself and her abilities, but also not lose faith in God and the role he plays in her life. Sarah’s compassion and Christian beliefs make this movie inspiring, relatable, and moving. Sarah’s character demonstrates a strong Christian belief which remains true to the life of the real Bethany Hamilton; by still having a huge significance to the story, Sarah does this without alienating the non-Christian audiences.

Over the past ten years, since the tragic accident, Bethany has been blessed with countless opportunities to share her story and her faith with the world, encouraging those who are struggling to overcome difficulties of their own. Through this movie, we celebrate the life of our very own ‘Soul Surfer’. If you enjoy positive messages leaving you with countless Goosebumps, an intriguing story, and phenomenal characters, I highly recommend you to go watch this film.

Cite this Page

Soul Surfer Main Character. (2016, Jul 09). Retrieved from

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