It’s widely known that a beautiful girl in a bikini is bound to draw eyes, but for a movie to work, there’s has to be more than just the superficial. Blake Lively proved her leading-lady prowess with a powerful performance in ‘The Shallows,” where she fights off a shark with her medical knowledge, creative ideas, and will to survive. It takes talent to hold an audience for that long, especially with no dialogue to distract, and she does just that.
The film begins with minimal backstory about Nancy (Blake Lively), who journeys to a secret beach to surf after dropping out of medical school. Her mother died of cancer, and she visited the beach while pregnant with Nancy. Her friend stayed home, and she dangerously decides to surf in solitude. But a shark is circling the water thanks to a whale carcass, and he’s VERY interested in Nancy. I won’t ruin the film with further details, but let’s just say the writer did a great job with some serious MacGyver moves.
It’s worth noting that the story begins and ends on that beach. There was a key decision made by the director to exclude the worrying scenes of Nancy’s family and friends, so the audience is just as unsure about the potential for rescue. And while it’s certainly a thriller, it’s colorful and refreshing, with awe-inducing shots of a beach in Lord Howe Island, which is located in New South Wales.
Though no one is breaking ground here, it’s a good enough summer flick that will keep you engaged. It’s also refreshing to know a movie can be made at minimal cost these days. The movie opened with a better-than-expected $16 million, thereby making back its budget in one weekend.
DISH RATING: 4/5