Two sisters, May (Louisa Krause) and Drew (Sophie Lowe) are spending the day together by driving and heading to a mysterious location. While driving, the pair engaged in basic catch-up conversation and got up to date with their present lives. Soon, May and Drew arrive at their destination, which is both stunning and amazing. They park their vehicle near a cliff and begin to walk to their destination. Located by the sea, they both begin to get changed and prepare their underwater equipment to conduct a dive, hoping to see an underwater cave. Both suits are fitted with the latest technology, and we discover that May and Drew can communicate fully while in their swim gear.
The water is blue and clear, with plenty of fish and life surrounding them. It’s a wonderful beginning for the pair’s adventure together as they admire all things being nature. When an opportunity presents itself, Drew suggests that May look like she’s having a great time. May’s response is reassuring, but she quickly moves on from Drew’s comments with an eagerness to continue the dive. However, the dive is soon interrupted by something tragic. While May is diving ahead, she begins to hear an unusual sound. Soon, May finds that large rocks have somehow fallen from above, and now she is trapped. Thankfully, Drew finds her. With May trapped under a rock, it’s now up to Drew to save her. May advised Drew that she needed to swim up to the surface, call for him and bring back extra air tanks in the car. Now, with the clock ticking, Drew will do everything she can to save May before it’s too late.
The Dive is best described as a thriller and has director Maximilian Erlenwein, known for films that include Stereo. While the director isn’t new to working with the thriller genre, The Dive does carry a different premise and location compared to past films. For most of the film, the Dive is set in one location consisting of where May is stuck and the land above. A level of suspense and tension comes into play as we continue to watch Drew trying to do everything she can to save her sister, but naturally, something simple like grabbing an item out of the boot of a car turns out it’s not that easy, and Drew must use to wits continually to move forward to the next task.
Visually, this film does great partially with its scenes underwater. The sound design, including effects, is also great and mixed well. As a storyline, The Dive does carry a familiar concept. As for the characters of May and Drew, I found the setup of this film to be poor, vague and rushed. Right from the opening, the dialogue between both leads feels messy, out of place and unusual. Plus, viewers are given quick flashbacks intended to give greater details and compassion, but it didn’t work for me. Because of the poor introduction to leads, I found feeling invested in their life-or-death situation challenging. Had the film given a better opening, I felt the entire experience could have been far greater. Lines of spoken dialogue throughout are also questionable and sometimes seem unbelievable, or perhaps it’s just poorly written.
Overall, The Dive delivers a familiar concept with its plot, along with some impressive underwater visuals and an impactful audio track relating to its sound effects. Unfortunately, the film’s step with its two leading characters feels rushed and vague. They say the calmer you are underwater, the less air you lose. While watching the entire film, I felt calm and, at times, disengaged, which is surprising given the storyline. The reason for this is I wasn’t invested in the characters, given their poor setup and back story. Lines of dialogue are also poorly written, less impactful, and hardly believable. Sure, there are some acceptable factors, but as a thriller, I wished this film could have affected me deeper and more emotionally.