The monster is always a metaphor. Life, death, loss, grief, fears, desires. In Jaume Collet-Serra’s The Shallows, the extravagantly proportioned great white shark relentlessly stalking surfer-meal Nancy (Blake Lively) represents the raw power that is the grieving process. Heading down old Mexico way to visit a secluded beauty spot, where Nancy’s deceased mum chillaxed many moons ago, the American med school dropout wants to honour the dearly departed by hanging ten at the same place. It’s a way of maintaining a spiritual connection and family tradition. Anybody who has ever lost a loved one knows the sense of fear the prospect of fading memories can conjure.
Martyn Conterio | @Cinemartyn