The Surfer

The Surfer
The Surfer
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Nicolas Cage has been reputed to throw himself entirely into a character and the situation they are going through, and his work in Lorcan Finnegan’s The Surfer is one more proof of that ability. For all intents and purposes, this film is a typical midnight movie; it is bold as well as brutal showcasing Cage at his most riotous giving him all the attention to do what he does best: go completely off his head. Thus, his performance provides for an exhilarating yet shattering depiction of how violence, egoism, self-assurance might ruin everything we have ever striven for.

It seems odd but there is not much surfing involved in The Surfer which primarily dwells on machismo gone awry, male insecurity, pissing contests between territories and classism rather than say anything about riding the waves. That is why it goes beyond being just a light-hearted ride with Cage tackling the wild bunch of locals who dominate the idyllic Australian beach he once called home. (They claim: “You don’t live here, you don’t surf here.”) Over one fiery Christmas break when Cage’s so far unnamed protagonist – who has accompanied his son back to Gold Coast to buy his family’s old dwelling – succumbs further into madness. His descent comes to an end with the devastating result that challenges our attitude towards those who find themselves homeless after years of stability. It reaches its apogee when under extremely trying circumstances such as these The Surfer forces its protagonist to feel for others.

This thriller uses stylized visuals in greens and yellows; unnatural colors that lift it out of our world into fables or parables . Sometimes, around Nic Cages’ presence atoms can be seen wavering like heat haze from barbecue grill smoke that adds another layer of mockery onto his sunstroke insanity.Sometimes after difficult moments for characters cuts are made within native species which serve as smart scary points that help to heighten our anxiety as the character of Cage is going further into the rabbit hole.

A couple of major twists lie down that rabbit hole, and they really hurt. The audience is plunged into Cage’s shoes and feels his confusion in Thomas Martin’s script and Finngean’s direction. This is what truly defines the success of both Martin’s script and Finnegan’s directing; it seems like we are with him throughout his ordeal. While Finnegan zooms in on Cage’s eyes to represent his emotional state, Martin uses dialogue to highlight how much we lose out when we have lost everything.

The journey is hard; nonetheless, the destination is hopeful. The Surfer ultimately rests on the idea that we aren’t so apart from each other hence any person wants to make himself or herself happy while others are not affected negatively. This concept is ruined by toxic masculinity evident in characters of the film, and its manifesto stating “You can’t surf if you don’t suffer.” In this case, only after suffering does Cage’s character realize that he deserves peace more than he had initially thought when he first arrived at the beach. We are all one; we all have our space with each other and if you take it away, The Surfer finishes strongly by suggesting you might be right.


There are few who do ridiculous insanity and strong commitment like Nicolas Cage as shown through The Surfer. Here is an actor for whom a story about male wrath unleashed resonates perfectly, and who powers his way through the most horrific moments of his character’s trip with fearless determination to stay alive. If Cage wasn’t going balls out, The Surfer wouldn’t work. But beneath its powerful social commentary that skewers our society’s class divide and its thrilling series of plot twists worthy of a late-night screening, this latest thrill ride from Cage becomes an epic comeback centered on a bloodied savior of surf born on Christmas Day.

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