I should probably point out a couple of things before I give my opinion on this film. I am Australian, so I grew up in an environment where sharks have been vilified and their attacks on surfers etc have been sensationalized. Yes, I did refuse to go swimming for a couple of days after seeing 'Jaws', and I do know what a shark warning siren sounds like.
That being said, as I have mentioned before, my brother is a marine biologist, and before he was into octopus he was into sharks. From my brother I had learnt that sharks aren't really interested in eating people, and that most bites to humans are exploratory rather than gastronomic. As Stevie put it "They don't have arms to reach out and nudge to see what you are, so they use their teeth".
So I went into this film with a long standing fear of sharks and a miniscule degree of understanding about them. Yet all in all, I can't say I really liked this film nor can I say that I hated it.
The good things about this film:
- The underwater cinematography is quite spectacular;
- I did gain an even more sympathetic view towards the plight of sharks;
- the scenes that involved the Sea Shepard were very exciting and interesting. I really would have liked to have seen this be the focal accompanyment to the sharks to form the crux of the narrative. It could have worked so well.
The not so hot things about this film:
- I understand that sharks have always been Rob Stewart's passion, but I really didn't need to see so much of him and felt it detracted from the film, and made it more of a ego-fest. I am sorry that he got flesh eating disease, but what did it have to do with sharks, really!
- I would have like more information on sharks in general, rather than the constantly repeated, too few, snippets of footage that I think they were hoping I wouldn't notice were repeated.
Overall I think this film had good intentions but if I take out my respect for the subject matter I have to say it was a mishmash.
I kept feeling like they couldn't decide what sort of film to make, so they made a little bit of all of them. I kept feeling that if they had thought more about how they had put this together and edited more ruthlessly it could have been a far superior film.
I am going to ask Stevie to see it and tell me what he thinks.