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.
“The Shallows” is an intense movie with mostly two actors in the entire film after the first 20 minutes or so. It features Blake Lively as Nancy Adams, and the shark as her co-star, although he is shown on screen only at certain times, when he readies himself to attack. Blake Lively does a good job in carrying the movie and showing the pain from the shark’s attack on her leg, as well as crying out in agony. She tries to keep her hope alive while stitching up her badly wounded and bloody leg after the attack, with earrings to boot. She also adds a tourniquet. Nancy survives on a rock, hoping to make it to a nearby buoy. She begins to time how quickly the shark moves from the whale he has attacked to the rock on which she is surviving. In addition, she manages to get a hold of a video camera floating in the water, which a former victim left behind. She leaves a message for her father and sister, in case she doesn’t make it home. She originally came to the secluded beach to honor her mother, who came there herself when she was carrying Nancy. Her mother had recently passed away from cancer. The location of the beach is in Mexico, and Nancy has no idea what kind of danger she is in for, when a driver named Carlos (Óscar Jaenada) drops her off at the beach.
Despite the suspenseful and chilling plot, the film features strong language and violence, with graphic, bloody scenes of the shark attack, a victim being bitten in half with his innards showing, and Nancy stitching up her own bloody leg. Therefore, we are prevented from presenting the movie our Dove “Family-Approved” Seal.