Anyone who knows me, which I can be certain is all of the tiny readership at present, knows that I love 3 things: dinosaurs, apes/monkeys and sharks (in no particular order). So what better way to start a movie blog than a movie about something I love.
So without further a do, Slating The Silver Screen presents:
This 2003 survival film tells the true story of a married couple stranded off the great barrier reef following a dive. This turned out less relaxing than they had ideally hoped for. For anyone who needs a refresher here is the trailer:
Now I wasn’t expecting a modern day retelling of Jaws but remained hopeful.
The main characters, Daniel and Susan, are struggling with a strained marriage, supposedly due to their hectic working schedules. In reality, it comes across that Susan, quite rightly, doesn’t want to spend time with Daniel as he has the charisma of a wet sponge. Anyway… once on vacation in Australia they go on a scuba diving excursion where they are promptly left at sea, because one of the other passengers is a pompous ass who, unsurprisingly, continues to act like an ass. From here on out the film shows their intense fight to survive out in the open ocean.
The film is generally very visually stunning and really captures the loneliness of being out adrift at sea. Additionally the acting is strong and convincing. Unfortunately that is not all!
Unlike previous shark films, the director wanted real shark footage in the film to avoid the trope of super-angry killing machine. This inevitably involves lots of cuts between stock shark documentary footage and the actors. This is where the problems began. I know that for all intents and purposes the sea is blue… Im not here to argue that, but you could at least hope the director would try to cut shots together with similar shades/light exposures or depths. Instead there were so many continuity errors that even Michael Bay of Transformer’s fame would have had pause for thought.
The film has also been praised for its minimalist perspective and less is more thrills, which I would have to agree with to a point. But after a while I would really have loved to have see something happen on screen. Literally anything. There are some genuine jumps and scares but once combined with all the little shark nibbles taking place off screen *, and the ever faithful lets just have a ship sail past and ignore them because…fuck it lets remove all hope, they do lose there charm.
*(which somehow go unnoticed by the characters for hours at a time)
Finally, there is the issue of them being left behind in the first place. I know it happened in real life, I just don’t get how! You would think someone would keep an eye on the jackass throwing a gigantic toddler tantrum because HE FORGOT HIS OWN GEAR. Oh well.
This movie is at best wilfully negligent homicide and at worst an ill conceived tourist board advert for Australia. But hey at least it inspired the TV show ‘Blue planet’.
VERDICT: ‘WE’RE GOING TO NEED A BIGGER BOAT’