In the taut thriller The Shallows, when Nancy (Blake Lively) is surfing on a secluded beach, she finds herself on the feeding ground of a great white shark. Though she is stranded only 200 yards from shore, survival proves to be the ultimate test of wills, requiring all of Nancy's ingenuity, resourcefulness, and fortitude.Written by
Sony Pictures Entertainment
The shark had multiple personalities, although one digital shark became the main adversary to Blake Lively the filmmakers deliberately crafted a few different shark "stages" VFX supervisor Anderson explained it began with "The early naturalistic shark, representing the fact that Nancy just wandered into a sharks feeding situation before becoming a more directed shark during the buoy sequence and leading into the more directed and stylized action of the flare sequence, culminating with Nancy in the water and finale with the shark, through it all footage of real sharks were used to give use that sense of balance from the simplicity of a fin through the water s-curve of a shark swim, the gills reactions, the motion of the 'lips' and an overall sense of mass. This was all driven by reality, but controlled by animators following Jaumes desires for each scene". See more »
There are a few moments in the film where the shark can be heard growling or snarling, sharks have no vocal chords or lungs to make such sounds. See more »
[looks at photo]
Is that you on the beach?
Oh, no, no, that's my, that's my mom.
See more »
Bird Set Free
Written by Sia (as Sia Furler) and Greg Kurstin (as Gregory Kurstin)
Performed by Sia
Courtesy of Monkey Puzzle Records/RCA Records
By arrangement with Sony Music Entertainment See more »
Nancy Adams (Blake Lively), an athletic, likable, and lively blonde girl from Galveston, Texas, travels on a solo surfing vacation to Mexico to escape her studies, even though she only has one year left in medical school. Nancy wants some quiet time to think about whether or not she should quit her studies altogether. Her destination is a remote secret beach that was special to her late mother, who surfed there in her early pregnancy. She later died a cancer victim.
While on the water, Nancy makes several acquaintances with two local Mexican surfers, of which one wears a GoPro camera on his helmet. Otherwise the beautiful beach is deserted. While Nancy paddles into shallow water waves, a great white shark (à la "Jaws") emerges without warning. It kills a whale, turns on her, and severely gashes her left thigh. Nancy finds a jagged rock, some 200 yards off shore, to escape the shark, and stops the bleeding by using parts of her bikini and surfing shirt. But that rock gets covered at high tide. While awaiting help, Nancy gives medical treatment to a white seagull with a dislocated wing; he keeps her company on the rock. She is hoping someone will come to the beach and calls for help. Instead one drunken dolt robs her backpack and cell phone on the beach and begins to walk off. Then he decides to paddle out to sea, but he is finished off by the shark. Later the two surfers return and try to rescue her, but being unaware of the man-eater, they too are victimized. In the denouement the movie takes a ridiculous turn as our heroine faces the shark in water with dangerous Portuguese Men-of-War and a buoy as her main defense. Hopefully the shark will not try to eat the metal parts of the flotation rigging. Did the embedded object in the shark make it so mean-spirited? Anyway, Nancy will need human help in the end.
Jaume Collet-Serra directs a well-photographed and nicely crafted inspirational film about human survival. Nancy has courage and the mental smarts to persevere; she is plucky all right! While Ms. Lively's beauty is impressive, her acting skills are well-developed: she can certainly believably project her pain and anguish. Australian Isabella Nichols acts as Ms. Lively's surf double. But for some, the film may not be enough of a story to get folks excited.
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