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The Shallows Review (2016) | Shark vs Human | A Survival Tale

Shark vs Human. That’s how I would like to outline The Shallows movie. For a survival tale it isn’t exactly great, but it is still somewhere. There is gore entailed, which is perfectly normal given the theme it packs in, and carries forever a thrilling element to see if the human, Nancy played by Blake Lively, makes it, beating a rampaging monstrous shark that has her tagged for kill.

SHALLOW PLOT OF THE SHALLOWS (SPOILERS)

As you might have already guessed, there isn’t much to the plot of the movie. Basically the following gif is it:

animation of the shark surrounding blake lively the shallows movieEven though Jaume Collet-Serra tries to show little inconsequential backdrop on Nancy’s life via social apps, we learn nothing new. Except for the fact that her mother was pregnant with her when she had visited an unheard of, unfrequented paradise. A beach so gorgeous that it is hard to believe, few knew about it.

When Nancy looks at the mountains yonder, she points out how the beach is of colossal importance to her. She compares it to an image of her mother when she had once carried her in her womb.

“Doesn’t it look like a pregnant woman? To me it does.”

SHARK VS THE HOTTIE

Surfing and searching for bigger waves she leaves the shallows venturing further in, only to find a decimated whale carcass afloat. Out of sheer curiosity she moves toward it, and ends up with a gargantuan great white shark on her tail. The shark rips her leg in one violent rush.

Shark 1 – Human 0

the shallows movie

She finds herself a good spot on a small rock but is left to the mercy of tides. She staples her spine-chilling wound up like a pro. One point to human.

Stranded she then calls for help when she finds a drunk man sleeping on the beach. The man wakes up to her call.

One more point to Human.

THIEF’S POETIC JUSTICE

He looks at her and waves back. Okay don’t scratch that point just yet. She points him towards her stuff. He moves towards it. Things look promising. But then he steals everything she had in her bag, and begins to abscond. In the backdrop, the Shark with folded fins can’t suppress its laughter. The man finds her surfboard, tries to steal that too. She tries to warn him about the shark. But he was taught by only the best badass generation of thieves.

“Don’t leave anything!”

So he swims towards to take it, and pow the shark prances. The man disappears only to return to the beach again, to sleep again. But this time only half of his body makes it.

Shark 2 – Human 2

The new dawn arrives bringing two fellow surfers she had come across the previous day. She tries to warn them, but they are unable to understand or hear her for that to matter. One of the most thrilling scenes of the movie occur when the shark pounces on one of them mid-air making him disappear in a single munch.

Shark 3 – Human 2

The other guy looks as if he could make it, then he disappears too, only to be savagely mutilated by jaws. Blood paints the water.

Shark 4 – Human 2

CONFINED SCREENPLAY

Being a movie that is solely forsaken to the mercy of the Sea, there isn’t much to the screenplay. Except for crazy jabber that Nancy makes with herself. She finds a certain injured gull that keeps her constant company when she finds herself surrounded by deadly jaws. Making the most out of her stranded situation she calls it “Steven Seagal”.

Human 1 – Seagull 0

the shallows movie stranded scene blake lively with seagull

Being a medical student she saves Mr. Seagal from its misery eventually.

Human 2 – Seagull 0

Pathetic dumb seagull! Totally worthless it stood there. Just watching crime in 3D!

THE BATTLE CONTINUES

Nancy finds a camera. Yay! Now she can have all the selfies in the world with her new friend. But it’s more of a recorder. So, she records her sobs, more like a message to her parents, and in a vain attempt throws it into the water again. Shark doesn’t understand the gizmo world. So. Human 3.

In comes the partial referee, nature. Tide bothers Nancy, and she prepares to set up for a nearby buoy. She times the white death well enough, as it makes a run to and fro – from the whale carcass to her, just to check on how she’s doing. Then when she finds a window of opportunity she makes a run for it reaching the buoy safely after battling a hoard of jellyfish. What was the score again? Oh, right!

Shark 4 – Human 4

ON THE BUOY

She finds a flare gun. Yay again! She has limited bullets though. Boo!

She shoots one for help but unfortunately it was a dud bullet. Shoots one at the whale carcass oil, and we see the great white on fire. Sheer badass scene! Die you monster, die!

Shark 4 – Human 5

But the smart shark was well aware of the fact that water was its abode. So it dives to put it out at once. Score levels again.

Shark 5 – Human 5

still of blake lively as nancy in pain in the water

Nothing happens. Furious and mad the shark destroys the buoy. All those iron rods chomped off to pieces as if they were nothing. It is like the Godzilla of water.

Shark 6 – Human 5

Nancy finds a rod and attacks the poor fish by it. One more point to Human.

FINISHER

Then she looks at a chain that bound the buoy, and that little bulb above her head glows. She catches hold of it, in a rebound that pulls her into the ocean with the shark still in pursuit. Just when she was about to hit, she moves away forcing the dumb blind shark to hit some pointy rods in the seabed. That scene by the way looked really animated.

So finally, she slays the beast, and gets away with murder. Human 7. She makes it out alive. One more point there!

Shark 6 – Human 8

The undefeated champ sets out for sea again. Now that’s messed up lady! The shark Union is complaining already.

DIRECTION

When the director is more concerned about showing close up shots of Blake Lively’s perfect ass, you wonder if he really bothers to care about the actual mishap. He lingers his camera so much there that you actually begin to wonder, with all that screen time maybe her bum might get a solo gig of its own. Maybe become a star and leave Blake Lively forever.

Then again when you try to see Jaume Collet-Serra’s subtlety, there is plenty there. Like when the camera goes underwater the music stops, just how it stays in reality. Glimpses, hints and hazy contours of the shark are spread throughout the flick, that never properly shows us the full-blown version. It is a subtle way of depiction like from a human perception, that Jaume aces.

Its DVD is out. You can buy it from Amazon, here:

THE FINAL VERDICT

The Shallows literally breathes on terror. You can’t help but place yourself in Nancy’s shoes and wonder what if that happened to you. Terrifying!

In the end however, The Shallows ends up becoming nothing but an oddly visible contrivance. To depict dope theatrics, Jaume sips out naturalism too much. Despite Blake Lively’s outstanding performance, The Shallows movie fails to reach the levels of awesomeness.

Whatever the case might be, let’s not forget the latest shark movie is to put our forgotten fear back in place. It is at least better than all those cheesy stupid shark movies that we have been served so far.

Here you can check the movie trailer here:

Room Review (2015)

Adorable, powerful and literally captivating!

Room is a dive into the head of a child’s perspective, who witnesses the world for the first time. Emma Donoghue comes with a tale that is so beautifully wrapped under the outlook of Jack who believes space is confined. It is in a way reflective of how we have been living in today’s world, and how possibilities gawk at us from a distance, and we are never prepared to challenge ourselves into stepping out.

Ma: You’re gonna love it.

Jack: What?

Ma: The world.

The plot of Room unfurls like a beautiful flower. You are thrown into the mundane sphere of daily chores, and then suddenly you are told what’s happening and what seems to be the disconnect. It is hurled at you at once, amidst the regularity and it is hard to handle just like Jack’s head refuses to accept it. But then again that is the truth. Jack, the smart kid he is, accepts it and tries to help his Ma out, whilst challenging himself to a bizarre world that he has never encountered before.

What are quite thoughtful are Jack’s diegetic thoughts which go in the background often telling you how he feels about the world. They put your insight in the garbage. Seeing the beauty of the world through a learning phase is indeed really soothing. That’s where the screenplay goes really brilliant. His words are so powerful and yet so innocent that he will compel you to go broody.

Jacob Tremblay is exceptional as Jack who turns five and knows everything. Brie Larson plays an outstanding Ma, and fiddles with the right emotions. So is Joan Allen as Nancy, Jack’s grandma who epitomes sanity and tries to put sense and normalcy in the inane.

SPOILERS SHACKLED AHEAD:

Film’s most touching moment is when Jack reunites with his mother and the music bashes your nerves to dust. It makes you happy and sad at the same time. But that’s only the half of it. The rest of the movie progresses with how he tries to gel up with the asynchronous. Lenny attempts to manifest how Jack sees his surrounding through his sheepish eyes once he is out in the open. You can almost feel yourself feeling sorry for Jack and Ma. It would make you want to hug him right up and teach him the ways of the world.

Room concludes at an arresting juncture where Jack wishes to see the room he used to live in. He finds it smaller now that he has seen more of the world, and bids every object he used to adore so much in that room farewell, as his ultimate closure. It is really so pensive that you can’t shake it off. It was like he was in a womb till he aged five.

If you are a drama freak, you can’t simply miss this one. Brilliantly thought of and well written. Thank you Emma!

This is yet another mind-boggling movie by Lenny Abrahamson who brought us Frank an year ago. You can find the review of Frank here: Frank Review