The Shallows - A Movie Review
'The Shallows' is an impactful story about bravery
Beware of sharks. You never know when a shark could be right under your feet.
Fished out of the ocean in 2016, The Shallows is about a young surfer woman who is stranded 200 miles from land after a shark attack. Fighting for survival, Nancy has to figure out a way to get back to land before the shark wins the battle.
The Shallows is the ultimate shark film. I really wish that I could have seen this film in theaters so I could have witnessed the suspense unfold on the big screen. The Shallows is not your average shark film. The Shallows is an impactful story about bravery.
Nancy is a fighter. Based on subtle details, I like how the film introduces audiences to her character. With a love for surfing, and having gone through a tragedy, Nancy is trying to run away from the past instead of finding closure. Using her wit, strength, and courage, Nancy is in the fight of her life against this shark.
Blake Lively was incredible in her performance. Her genuine expressions of terror, pain, and exhaustion were gripping. In real life, Lively is afraid of sharks. Not letting this stop her, Lively connected to her character, presenting a remarkable sense of bravery.
Filming was not an easy experience as Lively had to withstand cold temperatures just like her character endures. Performing all of her own stunts, the climax of The Shallows is so riveting that I was actually holding my breath. Terror is all about fear of the unknown.
It’s not every day that you find yourself acting with a seagull. That’s right, Steven Seagull plays an important role as a companion for Nancy to talk to. The conversations are funny. I liked how the film made it a seagull to befriend Nancy as seagulls are normally our enemies.
There is only a small number of cast members. This is Nancy film after all to capture the impeccable journey that she goes through. Angelo Josue Lozano Corzo and Joseph Salas are terrific as the surfers. Other credits to include are Oscar Jaenada, Brett Cullen, Sedona Legge, Pablo Calva, and Diego Espejel.
Like Jaws, the shark does not have much screentime. Filmmakers spent incredulous hours researching sharks for the right menacing appearance. I give credit to filmmakers for creating a CGI shark that looked terrifying, but in some moments it looks fake. Then again, the world of filmmaking offers many creative techniques to bring a story to life.
The cinematography is at its best. The camera shots of the beautiful ocean and the land surrounding it are gorgeous. I would love to go and sit on that beach. Most of the film was shot on the ocean while some of it was filmed in a water tank with a blue screen. When on-location, scenes were filmed in New South Wales, Australia
I have always gone back and forth on whether I liked the idea to show snippets, images, or videos from when Nancy is on her phone. It’s a creative idea to show more of her past, but it took away from the tone of the film.
Jaume Collet-Serra noted that he wanted to make a film that was more about survival than the actual gore. He engorged audiences in the terror. This decision brought out the true message of the film. We are all brave. It’s okay to be scared. No matter what, we have to keep on fighting for survival.
Not all viewers may like the film because of the subject film. For shark fans out there, The Shallows is the film for you.