The Shallows (2016): Plan Your Getaway

Posted: June 25, 2016 in Drama, Horror, Thriller

Searching for perfect beach her mother always talked about, she finds herself in a place seeming like paradise. Getting out into the water, she meets a couple of other surfers. While hesitant about hanging out with them, she ends up surfing the entire day together. They decide to head back in while she stays out in the water to catch one more wave. Getting distracted for just a few moments, she is surprised when a great white shark attacks her out of nowhere. Finding the closest refuge possible, she looks in the distance and can see the shore but no way to get through the terror lurking in the water.

Strength & Resiliency: While there are scenes toward the beginning of the film that show off the beauty of Blake Lively, it was undeniable that she made for an extremely willful and focused survivor. Story elements provided some background into her medical school experience and history working through her mother’s cancer treatments, but her on-the-fly thinking truly served her character well while she fought off her predator and her numerous injuries.

Decency & Retribution: As Nancy was stuck out in the water during low tide, there were several opportunities she had to signal for help. While some fell on deaf ears, others caught the attention of her potential saviors. The drunk man on the beach was clearly a big question mark. While Nancy was not sure he was able to understand what she wanted him to do, she was hopeful when he ended up by her belongings and her phone. The other surfers missed her when she initially realized she was stuck, but they saw her when they returned the next day. The only person to truly try to help her was the young boy who found the GoPro on the beach. The others were compensated for their failure to help her.

Sexism & Internet Trolls: One of the challenging pieces of the release of this film has been the online criticism about the image of Lively in a bikini and projecting that this is a film lacking in actual substance. First of all, it is film about survival in the midst of enjoying a surfing experience. Bikinis are part of beachwear. Regardless of the clothing and the fitness of Lively, only a small portion of the film even gives a sense of that sexuality. The focus is on survival and resiliency. It is on outwitting a giant predator. While it may not be the most original or innovative story, it is extremely engaging nonetheless.

Final Verdict: Survival was the name of the game. Facing off against an enormous beast created a significant conflict and engaging fight for one’s life. The shark may feel a little less than realistic, but the injuries Nancy experiences looked lifelike.

Dan’s Rating: 3.0/5


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