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Trenton Film Society

Open Water

If you have a little money, diving equipment and some time on your hands, what would you do? You could go a vacation to the Bahamas or you could make a movie about a vacation in the Bahamas. "Open Water" is the result of a little money, a very interesting premise and some diving gear.

Much like the now infamous"Blair Witch Project", "Open Water" is just novel enough to work as an indie media hit. Unlike "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" there's not enough substance to transform it into a mainstream movie.

Some critics, including Michelle, complain that the dialogue and acting are weak. However, I take the view that a couple left alone in shark infested waters aren't necessarily going to come across like George Clooney and Julia Roberts on their best day. Director Chris Kentis has presented one vision of what the un-imaginable would be like.

While the "I'm too busy for a vacation and can't get off of my cell phone rap" is a bit cliched in the beginning, it is necessary to set up the water scenes. I'll admit that the opening 1/2 hour is handled a bit clumsily. However, that's quickly counter-balanced by the truly unique shark scenes.

I was also left thinking quite a bit about the interlacing of island flora and fauna scenes with the open water scenes. One minute you're looking at sunset over the watery horizon and the next you're looking at a lizard sitting in a tree. My guess is that this was meant to juxtapose man's natural environment (land) against the unnatural (water). I'll take it at that and give the film-maker credit for finding a way to make the movie work on a different level while leveraging trip to the Caribbean or the stock footage they found.

In summary, "Open Water", serves as a reminder of my basic rule from 1975, to not ever go back in the water.



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Copyright 2002, 2003, 2004 Dan Dodson