- Chris Kentis
- Reviewed by
- Josť Ruiloba a.k.a. Morris
- Review date
- Thursday, October 21, 2004
Susan (Blanchard Ryan) and Daniel (Daniel Travis) are a workaholic couple who take a much-needed vacation. One morning they get on a boat with a bunch of other people who love scuba diving as much as they. But the situation gets serious once Susan and Daniel are left behind due to a counting error. They now find themselves stranded alone in the middle of the ocean, in shark-infested waters.
The biggest misconception surrounding Open Water is that itís another version of Jaws. That couldnít be farther from the truth. The only thing both movies have in common is that they feature sharks, but thatís where the resemblance ends. This is a whole different type of movie, though itís also not easily forgotten.
Director Chris Kentis shot the movie with 35MM cameras, giving it a grainy appearance, sort of like watching a home video. And the actors did their jobs as truthfully as possible, swimming in waters with real sharks dangerously approaching them. I donít know how much the crew risked their lives, but it was certainly worth it. The movie they came off with is well done and truly effective.
Itís interesting to note that Open Water does not succeed because of its scary and boo moments only. There sure are plenty of those, all of which are jump-inducing. But the movie is more of a psychological thing. It gets under your skin. Just to think that this could happen to you can keep you thinking for days. But watching it is another thing altogether. Susan and Daniel go through despair, sickness, desperation, dehydration, wounds and tension. Itís one thing to be in a situation when you know you may die quickly, and another to be in the place in which you are given hours and hours of thinking about it. Exhaustion is not as big a word as to how horrible it may be.
The movie is also quite talky. It is actually slow-paced. But it is real to the bone. These people talk and react as real people would. They laugh, they fight, they cry, they shout, they stareÖ
An especially creepy scene occurs during a thunderstorm in which we only see Susan and Daniel when lightning strikes. Thing is, we also see something quite menacing surrounding them. Itís nail-biting.
And then thereís the endingÖ which I just didnít see coming. It is low-key and subtle. It is also meaningful and shocking.
As acting goes, the two main actors do a great job, especially Blanchard. I wouldnít be surprised if she started a career in Hollywood. She resembles Charlize Theron and shows considerable traces of talent. The two are a perfect combination, and their work is really good, conveying all sorts of emotions while waiting, and waiting, and waiting.
A shocking, disturbing movie.
ďI wanted to go skiing!Ē
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