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!