Plot: P.C. (Tom Burlinson) is a world class windsurfer and he has a great passion for the sport, heading to the beach on a daily basis to hone his craft and soak in the serene ocean atmosphere. He is able to pursue his passion with no tether thanks to his father Stewart (Charles Tingwell), who has ample finances and a lush beachfront home that gives P.C. unfettered access to the waves. His father appreciates his talents on the surf, but would love to see P.C. settle down, get a real job, and maybe find a good woman, though that doesn’t seem likely. After all, nothing seems to matter to him except for windsurfing. But when he meets the beautiful Jade (Nicole Kidman), the rest of the world seems to melt away and a big tournament even seems to drift out of his mind. Has P.C. found a new passion that surpasses his love for windsurfing or is this just a fling that will pass with some time?
Entertainment Value: This is a fun one, with brisk 80s vibes, young Nicole Kidman, and a breezy romance that centers on the magic of windsurfing. I mean, we really need more movies about windsurfing, especially if they involve disapproving fathers and rock star love interests. Windrider is light, romantic fun that doesn’t reinvent the wheel or throw in unexpected twists and that is fine, as the movie hits all the right notes and is a brisk watch. I love the atmosphere in this one, from the gorgeous beach locales to all the 80s elements that populate the movie. The visuals have a light, airy feel in most scenes and that suits the content quite well, given the laid back nature of the material. In other words, Windrider doesn’t pile on the exposition or dramatic tension, just some light drama at times and most of the time, this feels like a relaxed ride, just like good old P.C. would want it. The cast is solid, the visuals are beautiful, and Windrider offers up some breezy 80s vibes, so this romance is recommended.
I have to think most people will drawn to Windrider because of Nicole Kidman, unless they’re super into windsurfing cinema. I think these early roles for Kidman are some of her most fun work, as she has so much energy and is much more expressive than in her later, more famous pictures. Kidman turns in an enthusiastic, effective performance here and if you’re looking for skin, she is nude in multiple scenes, though the peeks are rather brief. Although she is a skilled dramatic actress with a remarkable resume, I still think these early roles are a lot of fun, as they have a carefree wackiness that isn’t seen later in her career. Tom Burlinson is rock solid in the lead role and even does some of his own windsurfing, which is impressive. The movie has a light texture so the acting isn’t overly memorable, but I think Burlinson is fun to watch as the laid back P.C. and he carries the lead well. The cast also includes Jill Perryman, Charles Tingwell, Simon Chilvers, and Alastair Cumming.
The Disc: Windrider is given a new HD presentation as part of the MVD Rewind Collection and looks good, with solid depth and clarity in most scenes. Some source damage is evident at times, but given the nature of the issues involved, I doubt a restoration could clean them up, or at least not without some seriously intrusive digital woes. The movie looks more than solid here and fans should appreciate this new visual treatment. The extras include audio comments from director Vince Monton, a Nicole Kidman music promo, two other promo videos, some still photos, and the film’s theatrical trailer.