Directed By Jaume Collet-Serra
Starring Blake Lively
Movie Review By Laura the Book Enthusiast
This film was so good, I needed to write at least a blurb about it. You could say this is just a reimagining of the Jaws world, but it is so much more than that. The Shallows is about a young woman by the name of Nancy. She had gone to medical school, but didn’t complete her degree before she ran away. Her reasons for escaping to Mexico are revealed, and it isn’t much of a spoiler, but I will leave it for you to discover. She travels to a secluded beach, which has a secret name that even the locals won’t reveal. She begins to surf the killer waves, not realizing something is lurking more dangerous than the waves. Nancy finds herself stranded in the ocean alone, with a homicidal shark; Steven the Seagull her only companion. Injured and losing blood, she must find a way to survive. She vows to fight for her life, not only for herself, but the ones she holds dear.
The Shallows features a strong female character, whose actress rivals Tom Hanks’ performance in Cast Away. Cast Away is an amazing film, and I am not suggesting Tom Hanks isn’t equally amazing, but Blake Lively shows potential to match his talent if nourished. The Shallows is very intense, and does not leave you much time to cry with the protagonist like we did for Chuck of Cast Away, but we find ourselves rooting for her to make it. We feel her fears, her pain, her guilt, and her hopelessness. This woman is alone in a vast ocean, and she must rely entirely on her wits and will to live.
The character is not only smart, but she is vulnerable. She portrays a realistic woman, a person with good qualities and flaws as well. I love good characterizations in both films and novels, in fact, I think characters can make or break a story. The character of Nancy makes hers. I highly recommend this film. The movie itself is only an hour and a half, so its short, but effective. The Shallows could be described as a thriller, but at its heart, it’s about the strength of the human will. This is a must see, unless you have a fear of sharks that is. So, come on in, the water is fine. Cue Jaws theme, now.