Resurface (2017) Movie Script

-[birds calling]
-[indistinct chatter]
I'm gonna give it my best shot.
And we'll see where it all goes.
Ready, go.
-You are done.
-Let me do it again.
-You're not popping.
They said they wanted a challenge.
It's here.
I think it'll be a challenge
for everybody today
to keep their head above water.
[Bobby Lane] I gotta come up
with the things I'm grateful for today.
My wife, my life.
Being able to be out here
and help serve others.
Just straight out is
where I caught my first wave.
That's the day that the Bobby
you're talking to now came alive.
Just get out of your head.
That is the worst place.
-I know it is.
-I said I know it is.
-So, get out of it.
[Bobby] Yeah.
[Bobby] The head injuries
and the seizures were there in Iraq.
'Cause at one point, I was on the gun,
and I looked down
and I couldn't remember who I was with,
where I was at, what I was doing.
So I knew I was broke then.
[Van Curaza] Those traumatic
brain injuries, the TBIs,
you gotta learn to trust
their internal instinct. It's a big deal.
If they have a seizure out there,
it's not pretty.
He's been trained not to seek for help.
Man up and you can handle this stuff,
you know?
[Bobby] I knew I was
destined for the military.
I was meant to be a warrior.
Marine Corps recruiters told me they'd
make me a mean, green fighting machine.
They said all my screws were
already loose. I'd make a perfect marine.
I had a bunch of people telling me,
"War is ugly. All you are is a number."
I just didn't care.
Everyone has a purpose in life,
and being a marine was my purpose.
[gun cocks]
[Dr. John Straznickas] The military
trains you not to have feelings.
You need to suspend your emotions
to do your job.
You're there to kill.
[Mike Shurley] My combat experience
in 1967 and '68,
40 years later, is still impacting
everything I do in life.
We respond to danger...
with a flood of chemistry,
that gets us out of trouble
or it can even save our lives.
Following that, all of that chemistry
is still in your blood.
Even years later, you can still carry
the mark of that trauma.
And the more intense
and repetitive those experiences,
the longer that shadow will remain.
[Dr. Russell Crawford]
In the United States, current rate is
22 veterans kill themselves
every 24 hours.
Those are the reported ones.
We'd only been dating for a couple months
when he asked me to marry him. [chuckles]
By that point,
I had already realized the TBI
and the effects because of the seizures.
[Bobby] How many of these
am I supposed to take again?
[Liz] It was several months in
when I noticed the mood, I guess.
And he'd get angry easily over things that
really shouldn't be that big of a deal.
Major road rage, like, I'm-in-fear-
for-my-life-as-a-passenger road rage.
Things like that, that kind of
made me realize, "Okay, he's got PTSD."
[Bobby] When Liz and I
would get in an argument,
sometimes I'd smash a chair,
punch a hole in the wall,
yell in her face and scream.
And, I mean, a lot of times
I just didn't recall doing it.
And sometimes I did.
I just didn't know why it was happening.
It's like I had absolutely no control.
[Liz] He had been open
about being wounded.
But neither of us really knew
the full extent of that.
[Bobby] I started seeing things,
having flashbacks.
And I was drinking a lot
just to get to sleep.
A whole 1.75 liter bottle of Jack
a night, by myself.
Sometimes I'd drink that and a 30-pack.
Just, that way I can sleep.
I've been on just about every drug
on the market.
I mean, this is probably about
three months of changing prescriptions
and coming off of 'em.
This is a seizure med. Stomach pill.
The hydroxyzine.
It's supposed to help with the anxiety
or allow me to go out.
I'm supposed to take this one
for migraines,
but then I have to take this one
along with this one to counteract.
I don't even remember what this one does.
This is sildenafil.
If you don't know what that is,
it's Viagra.
They have me on so many drugs, that...
sometimes I need a little extra help.
I expected to come home
and everything to be normal.
I didn't expect
that kind of stuff to happen.
You close your eyes and these memories,
everyone calls it traumas,
race through your head.
You start thinking about
the firefights you've been in,
the lives you've taken,
the dead bodies you've seen.
-[gunfire echoing]
When you take a child's life...
You know,
when you take a child's life, it's...
Excuse me.
Forgiving myself was the hardest thing,
and I guess in some ways, I haven't.
There are multiple times
where I've put the gun to my head
and looked at myself in the mirror.
The plan was, I was gonna go surfing,
go home, make sure everything's in order,
and then I was gonna get my gun
and I was gonna commit suicide.
[man] O'er the land of the free
And the home of the brave
[Bobby] Operation Surf had a slot open,
so I can go surfing.
And I said, "Well, that's it."
I'd feel like I had achieved everything
that I wanted to achieve in life,
and I'd be okay with dying.
It started because all I wanted to do
is take a group of veterans surfing.
[Van] I just wanna welcome y'all
to Santa Cruz.
I've been surfing for 45 years.
And going through some journeys
that I went through,
I realized that surfing was the one thing
that kind of kept my life
a little bit intact.
[Van] I've been surfing since I...
Well, basically, ten years old.
I have a big appetite for good waves.
And so, I started competing
and got a little bit of recognition
and reputation through big wave surfing.
I got to a point in my life
where addiction, um...
pretty much took over my life.
And so, after getting clean and sober,
I started a surf school full time.
[cheers] Yeah! Oh, the little kick out!
Ever since I started Operation Surf,
it really came clear to me
about what my purpose was.
Working with these warriors in transition,
it's important to me.
[Martin Pollock] Four months in the tour,
I got blown up. Got hit with an IED.
I remember feeling like
I couldn't breathe and,
like, digging dirt out of my mouth,
but I couldn't see anything.
[chuckles] Yeah.
I think my mind, maybe, just shut it down.
-You see this one that's breaking now?
-[man] Yeah.
[Dr. Wallace Nichols] The traumas live
in their bodies.
In order to get healing,
you must involve the body
in the treatment.
[Crawford] With PTSD,
the brain's chemistry actually changes
by having thoughts over and over again.
Surfing gives an out
to create new pathways.
[Nichols] It's a huge surge of dopamine.
It's a huge natural high.
Your body is a pharmacy.
You can create in analog to everything
that's available from a pharmacist.
And it's not hippie-dippie stuff.
This is neuroscience.
If I'd had dreams at night
and they kept me up all night long,
I didn't think about it
when I was in the ocean.
The first thing I wanted to do is
get in and wash off.
I just wanted to get that out of my head.
Every bit of my senses is devoted
to the activity itself.
And I'm totally in the moment.
It's just you and the wave.
-I caught my first wave here, too.
-[Bobby] Really?
Forty-two years ago.
[both chuckle]
[Bobby] Surfing, that was
the biggest thing on my bucket list.
It's the thing that I wanted to do
since I was a kid.
I figured it was just gonna be like
jumping on a skateboard on the ocean,
just making peace with everything.
And I can go home
and I could just check out.
[Van] Ready?
Look at the ocean. Ready, pop. Go.
Leave the right hand down.
There you go. Boom!
Okay, ready? Pop your knee. Boom!
Front foot. Back foot. Nice.
Now, get to that back foot. There you go.
[Bobby] Van just tells me
to get out of my head,
'cause that's a bad place to be.
[Van] So, we have a perfect little wave...
[Bobby imitating Van]
"Get out of your head, Bobby."
You know, get out of your head.
Think about something positive.
Think about the ocean,
think about surfing,
think about catching that next wave.
[Van] Okay? All right? All right.
[Bobby] When I caught that wave,
it felt like...
It felt like a part of me died.
The Bobby that was going through life,
hurting, in so much pain and guilt,
that guy died out there that day.
And I could feel the ocean's heartbeat,
as if it was this living, breathing thing.
It wasn't death and destruction
and trauma and...
I close my eyes to go to sleep,
and the only thing I can dream about
was catching that next wave.
I'm not saying that first wave cured me.
But the ocean is the one place
I know I can go to for peace.
Now I've dedicated the rest of my life
to helping and serving other veterans.
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome back
to the Veterans Take Charge radio show.
We're in studio with a former marine,
Bobby Lane.
-Man, thank you for being here.
-Thank you for having us.
You've been giving us a good insight
on what surfing has done for you.
Yeah, it not only saved my life,
but it changed my life. So...
I'm not gonna lie, I kind of have
a different look on the surf culture
and what it can do
for people in rehabilitation,
-veteran or otherwise.
-[Justin] Surfing's hella exciting.
Until you see the megalodon
directly under your surfboard,
-and you're like, "Oh, man."
[Dave] So, for the next couple of days,
what's on the agenda for Op Surf?
-Um, I mean, surfing. [chuckles]
-[Justin chuckles] Surfing.
-[Justin] Yeah.
-[chuckles] Surfing, yeah.
Just let the wave do its thing.
Just let the wave do its thing.
Just ride it out.
If you're at the bottom of a ski hill,
you'd just go,
"I'm gonna let the hill slow it down."
-Who's your surf instructor?
-Right here. The caveman.
-[man] Lane. What's up, man?
-What's up? How you doing?
-All right. Got a new board?
Basically, you just wanna sink it in.
[Bobby] My job is just being a mentor
to some of these guys,
listening to what they're dealing with
and how they're feeling.
If it was up to me, my brain would just go
1,000 miles a minute,
and just think of all the bad shit.
But instead, okay, what's the good things
that are going on right now?
You know...
So, one, I'm not in Afghanistan.
Two, I'm in Santa Cruz.
Uh... Three, I'm about to go surfing.
Um... Four, I woke up this morning.
Um... Five, I'm in good company.
Six, the sun is shining.
Seven, I'm not getting shot at.
Eight, I'm not getting blown up.
-What's up, brother?
-You excited?
Yeah. Hell yeah, I'm excited.
-How do you feel about it?
-You know, a little intimidated, but...
I just hope I don't eat shit
or hurt myself or nothing like that.
But, no, I'll be fine.
[indistinct chatter]
Take this place. Kev!
-Here, you sit up here. Yeah.
-Okay. All right.
-You sit up there.
-Thanks, man. Thank you.
[Bobby] Sean, he's kind of where I was at.
It's like looking in a mirror.
Color guard, carry, colors!
[Sean] Everyone just assumed
because I was a soldier
and I did all this badass stuff,
that I would just be okay
and be able to adapt.
Like... you adapt.
I've been trained to be a fucking killer.
You can't show any weakness.
I ended up just completely breaking down.
I grabbed my .45 and stuck it in my mouth
and fucking loaded it.
And I wouldn't...
I wouldn't take it off.
And I was just right there,
finger on the trigger.
I've never been suicidal before,
but there I was.
Right now, there's a really big set.
And the tide's coming up fast.
-See how much the surge is?
It's gonna be up another four or five feet
in the next half an hour, probably.
The wave's gonna dictate
when you're gonna have to bail your board,
and so you have to trust the process.
If you fall, you can't hear me tell you
that a big wave is coming,
to swim underneath it.
So, I'll turn and look out.
Ready? Look forward.
Ready? Pop. Go.
No, see, look where your foot is. Look.
Look, look, look.
No. Look, look.
Your foot needs to be here.
There you go. That's better. Do it again.
There you go.
But look where your foot's hitting.
There you go. But look,
you don't get a second chance.
[Anthony] This is my friend Gordie.
He's been blown up six times.
No hearing.
No sight... No sight, really.
-Nasty today. It's kind of big.
You watch everybody else
-get beaten out there.
-I think I am.
[Van] Scoot up. Scoot up and paddle.
There's a big set coming.
Oh, boy! Where you at? Where you at?
Keep going! Keep going!
Go, go! Don't fuck around!
[Danny] It's you and Mother Nature.
You know, the second you get in the water,
you know who's in charge.
[Sean] I was scared shitless.
I was just getting pummeled.
I just did the whole somersault thing
under the water,
and getting tossed around.
Beat down, sore, bruises, scrapes.
[Danny] Wave hits you,
and the board drags you.
It's all about the mission.
It's all about just going for it.
You have zero control over the ocean.
The only thing that you have control over
is your attitude and your actions.
All right.
-Good job!
Look, it's rough, dude, okay?
Look, look, you can't hear me,
and you can't see.
It's rough, okay?
I gotta get you on a bigger board.
No, don't give up.
-No, we're not giving up. We're just...
-What size was that board?
-Too small.
-What size? But what size?
-Too small.
Too small. I'm getting a wider one.
-More balance.
-But what size was it?
-That was a nine footer. No worries.
-Day after tomorrow will be nine footer.
No, no... [chuckles] Day after tomorrow,
nine footer.
Did you get up?
-Yeah, I was on two knees.
-That's perfect.
-[man] Go for a stretcher?
-Nah, I'm warming up.
[man] Oh, oh, I see.
[Martin] There's a few words I hate,
like "stumps."
To me, a stump is like a useless lump,
and these are still legs.
It's still an arm.
I'd gotten quite angry with prosthetics,
and surfing settled that down
and gave me a focus.
Just go easy.
It helped me to keep going, I guess.
Everything I do is to make surfing better.
They've, um, offered a surgery to have
a titanium rod put in the bone,
but it would get in the way
of me popping up.
And so if it's gonna hinder that,
then I don't wanna do it.
The surfing's more important
than walking, I guess.
[Danny] Practice that little
four-step maneuver.
Knees up a little, all right?
And then, hand.
And then you should be in this position.
The way you're gonna turn on the wave
all has to do with all this, right?
[Sean] I was very intimidated
to go back out.
I wasn't going to, actually.
I was having, like, a panic attack
just being out there.
But then, right when
I caught that next wave,
I got up and I rode it.
That feeling is like
when you jump out of a plane.
That split second of just, like,
smoothness where it goes quiet.
I'm like, "I'm okay. I'm still alive."
That was good.
-To get up.
-How's your confidence now?
-It's getting better.
[Van] Okay, ready? Go.
Keep going. Keep going.
Nice and smooth! You're all right!
Yeah, keep going! [cheers]
[all cheering]
I'm ready to go back out there. [chuckles]
[Van] Get ready, get ready!
[Bobby] Let's go, Sean.
[mimics sea lion call]
[crowd cheering]
[man] Yeah, buddy!
[Danny] It's just a process, right?
So now, each session of each day,
you're just gonna build on it.
-I'm gonna be surfing with you.
-[laughs] Yeah.
Told you, buddy.
Bones, bare bones.
[Nichols] People who are
really ready to check out ,
get into a wet suit
and then get out on the water,
and they're riding a wave by themselves.
That moment can be transformative.
It helps them describe themselves
with a new story.
And if that new story is better
than the old story, that's powerful.
When they're done with that ride...
they see the rest
of their life differently.
It's very different than taking a pill.
[Liz] He was gonna go kill himself.
Had he not gone surfing,
he probably would have.
He would've just been another statistic.
[Crawford] Once the veterans
kind of get the bug about it,
they start looking at
what the waves gonna be like tomorrow.
If someone's thinking about
the waves tomorrow,
they're not gonna kill themselves today.
[Anthony] We're going.
There could be people coming across.
But we're going.
Go. It's showtime.
[Nichols] I see the future
where doctors are literally
writing prescriptions
that may include the pharmaceuticals,
but also include a surf session.
Surfing is medicine.
The ocean is good medicine.
And we need to talk about it like that.
[Liz] I don't think PTSD ever goes away.
But it doesn't mean that he can't learn
positive ways of dealing with it,
or figure out different things he could do
to bring himself peace
when he starts to struggle.
[Bobby] I went to Iraq, and I came back
and I was a completely different person.
You look in my eyes,
and I was just soulless.
Like a zombie, like nobody was home.
It's kind of like
I was given a second chance.
If I'm gonna go out,
I'm gonna go out the right way.
Right now, I'm on a mission to live.