For reasons unknown I have always enjoyed a Shark film, although it is impossible for any filmmaker on Planet Earth to even come close to what director Steven Spielberg gave us in 1975 when we were introduced to JAWS.
In previous years we have been graced with many other Shark films such as Deep Blue Sea, Bait (which was filmed in Australia), Open Water, and Sharknado 1, 2 & 3. The trailers for “The Shallows” did appeal to me and showed promise.
The lead is Nancy (played by Blake Lively), who recently lost her mother. Nancy was once told about a secret beach by her mother. After her mother’s death, Nancy breaks from becoming a nurse and goes on a journey to find this beach family and gain some peace.
Nancy, however, is not the only one who knows about this beach. She not only receives a lift there but also finds two male surfers already at her destination. She is also a mere 200 yards from the shore and safety. After surfing for a duration, Nancy is attacked by a great white shark.
The biggest strength of the film “The Shallows” is what Sony has managed to do with this film. This film looks genuinely unique, particularly the bright and transparent colours. The water is clear, bright blue, and sometimes even bright green. The details of crabs along the beach or jellyfish under the sea are also impressive. The film’s audio track is also a significant win, but I expected nothing less from a film created by Sony Pictures.
While I praise many of the film’s visual effects, the primary visual effect that should be the best of them all but sadly wasn’t was the shark. It just wasn’t like it should have been all the time; sometimes, the shark looked fake and computer-generated.
The other downfall of The Shallows was a sad case of the film’s movie trailer providing too much information. It goes to such an extent that I’m talking about 30 mins of scenes until we discover something that the film’s trailer had already provided. Many portions of the trailer were “key” elements that now provided me with no shock or surprise.
The only vital elements missing from the trailer are the film’s start and end. Once the audience is shown the credits rolling, I feel many viewers will not be demanding a second viewing (even if you haven’t seen the trailer). This isn’t a big negative, but it’s not the type of film requiring repeat viewings.
I will admit that the concept of being trapped at a beach for a lengthy period due to a tense situation is new and creative. I also enjoyed seeing the actress Blake Lively taking on a new role that required a higher level of suspense than her previous work.