• May 19Final Issue of Rattler to come next week

  • December 9PRINT ISSUES ARE IN ROOM 404

The student news site of Serrano High School

The Rattler

Think twice before diving into The Shallows

The Shallows movie poster complete with a less than sub-par slogan. (publicity shot from film maker)

The Shallows movie poster complete with a less than sub-par slogan. (publicity shot from film maker)

Advertisement

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






In the 2016 summer film The Shallows, many characters, and the general plot, lacked depth. It would seem that Anthony Jaswinski, the screenwriter, was so focused on the horror and thrill of the film that he forgot to give the audience a connection to the characters. Without this crucial connection, the audience was left with only superficial reasons to care whether the main character Nancy Adams survived the terror of the CGI beast or not.

 The film opens to a young boy discovering a GoPro on the beach that contains horrific footage of a surfer being attacked by an abnormally large great white shark. Following this brief hint of action soon to come, we see Blake Lively as Nancy Adams catching a ride to a beach (whose name remains unknown to the audience) in a beat up truck with Oscar Jaenada playing Carlos, a local to the area.

 

“Oh no! [Insert name of disposable character here] just got eaten by the great white computer generated image!”(publicity shot from film maker)

 A backstory about Adams’ mother’s death was attempted, but was rather hollow due to the fact that it was told through photos on her phone and with a lack of emotional display from Lively. It would seem that the protagonist’s backstory was a mere excuse by Jaswinski to get her on a much-needed vacation to a highly secluded, and therefore dangerous, beach so the director Jaume Collet-Serra could kickstart the action; but what is action without the fear of losing a character you’ve grown attached to?

 Adams’ arrival to the beach is followed by way too many oversexualized shots of her as she prepares to go surfing. This collection of scenes is clearly superficial and may be the only reason for the audience to care for her as it gives off a “no one wants the pretty girl to die” vibe. It would seem as though the director is exploiting Lively’s “surfer body” to win the audience’s care for her journey and survival.

 An additional attempt at Adams’ backstory was made after her stunt double had spent a sufficient amount of time showcasing her surfing skills, but this time through a skype call. The call starts out with light conversation between Adams and her little sister, but soon takes on a more serious tone as Adam’s’ father interrupts and tries to convince her to stay in med school. Adam’s’ mom is brought up for a second time in the film during the call, but unfortunately fails once again to make an emotional connection to the audience. This is one of two very brief times that the protagonist’s family members are shown throughout the film and though the film hints that they play a bigger role in Adam’s’ life, they don’t amount to much.

 There are only eight characters shown throughout the duration of the film, three of which serve as practically nothing but false hope for Adams and a nice snack for our CGI friend. Every character, aside from Adams and the shark, is upstaged by a seagull. This seagull, barely surviving a shark attack himself, accompanies Adams on the rock she stays on for safety from the perilous waters. It says a lot about a film when almost all of its human characters are outdone by a bird.

 Anthony Jaswinski does a poor job in forming a connection between the audience and the characters making this film feel slightly rushed and very empty. It may have benefitted the film to add more emotional value and backstory and to keep more important characters in focus for longer amounts of time. The film’s horror and thrill qualities are sufficient, but practically meaningless when the people subjected to these qualities hold little value to the audience. Overall, the film does a shoddy job at character portrayal and development as it either dismisses characters away, uses them briefly for sloppy plot development, or uses them as fodder for the great white CGI.

Print Friendly

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • Think twice before diving into The Shallows

    Opinion

    Imagine a Day Without Immigrants – Reflections on a vulnerable class

  • Think twice before diving into The Shallows

    Features

    Senior map: Serrano grads move on to higher ed

  • Think twice before diving into The Shallows

    Features

    Dexter’s List – April Edition

  • Think twice before diving into The Shallows

    community

    Student Dancers and Gymnasts Compete In Off-Campus Programs

  • Think twice before diving into The Shallows

    Showcase

    Keeping Up With Boy’s Tennis

  • Think twice before diving into The Shallows

    Arts and Entertainment

    Spotlight: Kenneth Pasewark’s Final Symphony at Serrano

  • Think twice before diving into The Shallows

    Opinion

    The F Word Part 3: Why I am a Feminist

  • Think twice before diving into The Shallows

    Featured Sports Story Carousel

    Fall Baseball: On the road to third consecutive MRL League Title

  • Think twice before diving into The Shallows

    Features

    Student Guide to the Election

  • Think twice before diving into The Shallows

    Features

    Mourners urge others to “Do it for Dillon”

The student news site of Serrano High School
Think twice before diving into The Shallows