March 25, 2006

"Open Water."

I avoided this film when it was in the theaters. I avoid most films, so my avoidance means little. But I suppose I lacked the confidence that the story of two divers, abandoned in the ocean, could have enough substance to interest me. Of course, in some ways, the movie must be slight. Just two heads bobbing up and down in the immense blue expanse. What can two people say in this situation? They must bicker, then blame, then alternate between despairing and saying "I love you."

But tonight, I wanted to watch a movie, and what was there? HBO was showing "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," an appealing choice. I remember when that movie first came out on video. It was back when I was married, and my husband and I picked it out to bring home to a big family group, who ravaged us for picking popular fare. Yet we were right, were we not? History has proven us right!

But "Open Water" was on HDTV and "Ferris Bueller" was not, so we went with "Open Water." How do you film a movie full of waving, rippling water and two bobbing, wet actor-heads? Quite a challenge! How do you pitch the relationship? Will the man and woman bicker shallowly or emote hammily? Get somewhere interesting that avoids all that! There's a moment when the woman discovers a few hard candies, and they can finally soothe their dried out mouths. The luxuriating in the ordinary is cut short. This is the place for the shark.

I didn't know how the movie ended. And I won't reveal it, even though I think everyone else has already seen this film. But the story worked its way through to a satisfying ending.

It's not "Aguirre the Wrath of God," my favorite floating-on-water-'til-the-bitter-end movie, but it was solid. Artistic. I approve.

IN THE COMMENTS: Spoilers!

18 comments:

Ron said...

Ahh...how much I have longed to sing "Danke Schoen" and "Twist and Shout" on a float in a parade...

Doesn't that go in the list of joyous movie moments?

Ann Althouse said...

I missed the beginning of the movie!

Finn Kristiansen said...

The woman I saw this (Open Water)with, and who chose it, apologized to me for it being so bad. All they do is float and die. This movie is a great argument for making sure your laid back island scuba operators really understand math, and counting. And the acting... oh wait, there was none.

Then saw "Dark Water", a movie that set Roosevelt Island back into the dark ages. Watching water drip, and drip, and drip.

Both hideous films. No film with "water" in the title is ever very good.

Kyle said...

As an avid SCUBA diver I have avoided that movie like the plague. I'm pretty sure it's the last thing I want to think about when I leave the dive boat.

PatCA said...

I expected something quite different and was unexpectedly floored by Open Water.

Ann, don't you think the ending was somehow ennobling for her character? There were cues throughout about how unaware of life and nature they were and then...that.

vbspurs said...

It was back when I was married, and my husband and I picked it out to bring home to a big family group, who ravaged us for picking popular fare.

WTF! Snobs!

Yet we were right, were we not? History has proven us right!

It's a Modern Classic. TNT said so.

Victoria's Top 5 Bratpackish Films

1- Breakfast Club
2- Ferris Buehler
3- Pretty in Pink
4- Sixteen Candles
5- St. Elmo's Fire

Cheers,
Victoria

vbspurs said...

It's not "Aguirre the Wrath of God,"

As long as it's not Fitzcarraldo either...

my favorite floating-on-water-'til-the-bitter-end movie, but it was solid. Artistic. I approve.

Brilliant. I will watch!

P.S.: I saw Inside Man tonight. Not bad. A little overrated given the reviews I read, which were stellar.

But certainly a rivetting POPULAR film, just in case you still know those people.

Cheers,
Victoria

Ann Althouse said...

Victoria: Thanks for the WTF!

Patca: Yes, I especially liked the very end. It surprised me. I was expecting something violent to happen. Before, it had been like "Titanic," the couple surviving together, then the woman having to let the man drift away, and the woman going on without him. In both movies, the woman fortifies herself, but in "Open Water," she ultimately has to let herself go.

Finn: Maybe if I had seen it in the theater, I'd have gotten exasperated with it. What I found most offputting about the concept, which kept me away, was the thought of having to listen to the couple argue with each other, but without brilliantly written dialogue.

Maj.BertramPudgeman said...

I was curious how they they went about making the movie, so I watched it. I wound up depressed and wanting my hour and a half back.


BTW - you may want to post a spoiler alert at the top of the comments. You were kind enough not to give away the ending in your post, but a good deal of the ending, enough I think, has slipped out in the comments.

David Boyd said...

All of you are forgetting to mention some of the greatest gratuitous nudity in the history of film. Just fantastic.

PatCA said...

I'm with critic Armond White when he asks, "Does anyone feel like I do? I think of that movie and want to weep."

Dave said...

Well, I don't think I would have ever discussed Open Water and Ferris Bueller in the same breath,

Bueller is brilliant--hello Sloan Peterson! (And the Ferrari ain't bad either.)

Open Water was good too, but I went scuba diving a week or so after seeing it.

What does that say about me?

Ann Althouse said...

David Boyd said..."All of you are forgetting to mention some of the greatest gratuitous nudity in the history of film. Just fantastic."

LOL. I guess they figured that for the whole rest of the movie she'd be in a wet suit and even that would be mostly out of view. Seeing her naked imprinted her body in our minds -- probably yours more than mine! -- and made us care more. The fact is -- art proves this again and again -- we feel more pain at the death of a beautiful young person.

bearing said...

Since you've already announced the spoilers, and I don't intend to see the movie (I'm with you Kyle --- I am not an avid diver but I'd like to try it someday), could someone please post exactly how it ends so I know what you all are talking about?

PatCA said...

bearing,
Susan's husband died from blood loss, so in the morning she takes off his vest, lets him go and watches him disappear as the sharks pull him under. She then takes off her own vest and plunges herself into the sea.

bearing said...

Thanks --- now some of the comments will make a bit more sense to me...

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