The Best Film Seen This Year!
A girl in search of the beach where her mother found happiness finds something more sensational. The movie about the consistent threat that is the shark and grit and courage that is the girl is simply breathtakingly marvelous. You haven’t seen such amazing underwater or surf footage or felt the excitement at the back of your throat. The threat from the shark feels so real you do not breathe.
The Shallows is such a brilliant film, you cannot believe it has a very simple premise. A girl who comes seeking the perfect beach finds herself being encircled by a shark who has eaten the only other people on the secluded beach.
But the action is so good, you cannot imagine how deceptively beautiful the beach and the sea are. You begin to worry for the girl marooned on the rock in the shallows while the shark seeks out opportunities to swallow her as well. The last shark movie that gave you the chills was Jaws, and today Bruce the mechanical shark of that film seems too tame when compared with this vicious fin and jaws swimming in the shallows, slowly but surely encircling the hapless girl.
Blake Lively is a gorgeous body all right. And when she strips on the beach to strap herself to the surfboard, you settle down to watch a truly majestic piece of nature… I mean the beach is simply beautiful. The two other surfers there are catching the waves and seem to be spending a fabulous day in the waters that are beautifully blue. The girl from Texas, Nancy, has found the beach as she mourns her mother who is lost to cancer. She’s a med student who has given it all up because no amount of medicine has cured her mother. Will she find peace on the beach? She wonders as she waits for that one last wave of the day.
The sea and weather turn and you find yourself rooting for the slip of a girl fighting for her life. Never before have you experienced such exhilaration at her little triumphs and fear each time she encounters the shark. You don’t mind the blatant product placement of Casio and Sony products because you don’t have the time to think. You are on that rock surrounded by tide that’s rising rather quickly and you know she has to think up of something real quickly.
The ocean has been filmed with as much love here as you have seen in The Atlantic (2014) and you know that there is huge restraint on the part of the director because there is not a moment of lazy surf shots. Each frame is there to take your breath away. This review cannot find adequate words to describe the visual spectacle that is The Shallows. And you will not ever once hear that Blake Lively is just another beautiful body, ever, after watching this film.
(this review appears on nowrunning dot com)