posted on September 14, 2009 20:00
Bodhi: If you want the ultimate, you've got to be willing to pay the ultimate price. It's not tragic to die doing what you love. [Point Break, 1991]
Sound Waves is saddened to hear of the untimely death of Patrick Swayze, the Texas born actor, choreographer and dancer who made some of the most iconic movies of the 1980s and 1990s and who, in the character of Bodhi, embodied a particular kind of surfing archetype; the zen master wave rider who takes a wrong turning in his life onto a road paved with darkness, a classic theme revisted in Tim Winton's recent novel, "Breath"
Although the character of Bodhi was a synthesis, the line of dialogue quoted above and the film's final scene on Bells Beach was clearly inspired by Mark Foo, the famous Hawaiian surfer who died in a freak accident at Mavericks and who was often quoted as saying, "If you want to ride the ultimate wave, you have to be willing to pay the ultimate price"
Although sometimes derided for being melodramatic, 'Point Break' has endured in popular culture and Sound Waves has yet to meet a surfer who is unable to quote memorable lines from the movie. Given the outstanding physicality of Swayze's onscreen performances, it is a cruel irony that his death was caused by a disease that slowly robs patients of their physical well being long before claiming their lives.
Perhaps the most fitting tribute one can pay to this brilliant, yet underrated Hollywood Star is to remember him as he is in that final scene in 'Point Break' standing in his wet suit on the beach in the rain, preparing to paddle out into a giant wave which he knows will take his life in the briefest and most thrilling manner possible.
Australian cop: We'll get him when he comes back in!
Johnny Utah: He's not coming back.