The Perfect Wave
Having dreamt of searching for the perfect wave around the world, 24 year old Ian McCormack and his cousin Greg make a sudden decision to fulfill their dream and embark on an adventurous, adrenalin packed world trip, exploring the best surf spots in search of their dream wave. Their hasty departure causes tension at home. Dad disapproves of Ian’s laidback approach to living for the moment and mum struggles to witness her eldest breaking away from the nest. In the final moment of their goodbyes, mum urges Ian to remember to call on God if he gets in trouble.
We sooner discover that Ian’s quest carries deeper desires compared to his party-crazed cousin Greg. Ian soon tires of the 24 hour party culture he surf community of Australia offers. He persuades the reluctant Greg to leave the beautiful waves and babes of Sydney in search of an adventure on the open road. After a near escape in the Outback, they arrive in Indonesia. Amidst the exotic new culture of Bali, Ian falls for the beautiful but complicated Annabel. Following her to a Buddhist temple, Ian finds himself completely out of his comfort zone, both in his feelings for Annabel and her spiritual quest. He experiences a terrifying voice in the temple causing him to ponder on the question of religion and whether gods speak.
Annabel announces she is leaving the next day to explore an island off the coast of Africa and invites Ian to accompany her. Ian is torn between loyalty to Greg and his pull towards Annabel. Initially he refuses her, but drawn by Annabel’s allure and his own hunger for a deeper connection, Ian later decides to leave Greg and continue traveling alone with Annabel. Greg departs for South Africa and Annabel and Ian explore an island of paradise, while falling in love. However, Ian’s quest for the perfect wave still burns in him and as he shares his vision for the wave, Annabel encourages him to rejoin Greg and continue the search.
In South Africa, they are reunited with the surf-partying community as well as a very different Mark, who has found faith through his new girlfriend Roxy. Ian and Annabel bump into a mutual travel friend Lachlan and both realize they know him. Annabel’s secrecy and Ian’s jealousy causes Ian to confuse Annabel’s free spirit with betrayal. Finding them both dancing, his jealousy overtakes him and he tries to fight Lachlan. Annabel is furious at Ian’s mistrust and reveals Lachlan to be the husband of her late sister. She leaves during the night and leaves Ian heartbroken and furious with himself.
Ian heads to Mauritius with Lachlan, hoping to find Annabel and surf the legendary outer reef, where it is said the ultimate perfect wave breaks. On reaching Mauritius, he discovers Annabel is gone, but instead finds a communal beach paradise, with incredible surf. He slowly overcomes his heartbreak and embraces a simple life, living with local fisherman.
A storm approaches the island with the right conditions for the perfect wave and a plan is made to surf the next day. Receiving news from home that his brother is getting married, Ian decides to go home for the wedding. The night before the wave is due to break, Ian goes out for a final night dive with his local fisherman friends. In the dark water of the reef, Ian is stung by a group of deadly box jellyfish; the venom of which is so virulent, one sting can kill. Left on the shore by a frightened fisherman’s son, Ian has to beg and plead for help to get to the hospital. In the closing hour of his life, Ian begins to hear an audible voice leading him and in the ambulance is reminded of his mother’s words to call on God. He begins to cry out to God, while simultaneously, Ian’s mother in New Zealand is prompted by God to pray for her son, knowing he is in danger. Ian makes peace with God in the ambulance, knowing that death is close. He prays the Lord’s prayer and surrenders the rest of his life to Jesus. At the Mauritian hospital, the doctor does all he can, but Ian is pronounced dead and is covered with a sheet and wheeled off to the morgue.
Ian awakes, finding himself out of his own body and in a complete and foreboding darkness. Voices full of hate torment him and inform him he is in hell. Ian is terrified and feels abandoned by God. Suddenly, a brilliant light breaks through the darkness lifting Ian towards it. As he moves towards the light, Ian experiences wave after wave of love and finds himself in the presence of God, the resurrected Christ. Ian is given a choice to stay or to return. At first, having found the source of the universe and all he has been searching for, Ian wants to stay. But after Christ shows him his mother in prayer and also a multitude of people whom God wants him to share his experience with, Ian decides to return. He wakes up in a morgue having been dead for nearly twenty minutes.
Terrifying the doctor and nurse, who have no explanation for his return, Ian walks out of the hospital and immediately calls his parents to explain what happened to him. Returning to his community of friends who are in mourning, he shares his story, overwhelming them with his experience. In the morning, Lachlan surfs the perfect wave, but Ian watches, reflecting on his experience and knowing he has found the perfect wave of God’s love in his heart. He returns home to New Zealand and is reunited with his mother and father.
(in alphabetical order)
William A. Wood III
S. Bryan Hickox
Trevor Michael Brown