Nancy Adams visits an isolated Mexican beach where her
late mother had surfed when she was pregnant with her. Medical student Nancy seeks solace and the
exhilaration of surfing that her mother had experienced. But one last solitary
turn at riding the giant waves becomes an unexpected lesson in sheer survival.
Nancy has to do all she can to avoid becoming a killer shark’s next meal.
It’s Life Of Pi
mixed with Jaws but has a life of
its own without the overwhelming special effects of the former film. After just about escaping the snapping jaws of
death, a bleeding Nancy talks to herself like she would to a patient while she
ties a painful tourniquet on herself and does pretty much the same to an
injured seagull that’s her sole company. Her perch is the bloated body of a
large dead whale but Nancy must keep her head ticking sharply to beat the
predator circling around her mid-sea.
Writer Anthony Jaswinski puts in enough excitement as
Nancy desperately seeks help from receding figures on the shore or fires a
flare gun at a ship that doesn’t spot her. All the while, the tide’s
threatening to rise, the shark kills three able men before her eyes and wants
Although you know that Nancy will stay alive, director
Jaume Collet-Serra maintains a thriller pace. Aerial shots capture the rolling
sea, the adrenaline rush of surfing and the stress of survival against terrible
odds. There is the additional emotional thread of the dead mother who’s
probably watching over Nancy. The happy note is when Nancy, with her thighs
bearing the marks of the shark, returns with her younger sister one year later,
to battle the waves again, this time in Texas. Her spirit has also survived.
Blake Lively plays the surfer and swimmer with robust energy.
For a predictable film that’ll give a high to those
who screamed with delight at Jaws, The Shallows gets a 2.5* rating.
Bharathi S Pradhan
Senior Journalist & Author