Thursday Night Movie Club
Open Water
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Release Date: August 20, 2004

Director: Chris Kentis
Blanchard Ryan
Daniel Travis
Saul Stein
Estelle Lau
Michael E. Williamson
Cristina Zenarro
John Charles
Open Water movie poster Open Water movie poster Open Water movie poster
Open Water banner graphic

Open Water is an edge-of-your-seat thriller! But it is more than that. On the surface, this is a thriller. Underneath, this is a love story. A couple that has drifted apart take a vacation to try to salvage their marriage. They get more than they bargained for... in a big way.

Photo of Blanchard Ryan and Daniel Travis from Open WaterSusan and Jack are having marrital problems. They decide to take a Caribbean vacation as a last-ditch effort to save thier relationship. Susan is still working business deals as Daniel waits in the car. He finally resorts to calling her from outside their home. They have both let their careers take center stage. They are still in love, they have just forgotten how to be intimate, to express their real feelings.

As one of their itineraries, they take a scuba-diving cruise. Thanks to the efforst of an over -jealous tourist, the dive boat miscalculates the number of people on board the boat. Susan and Daniel are left stranded in the middle of the open water.... shark infested water.

Daniel Travis as Daniel and Blanchard Ryan as Susan in Open WaterJust like the currents that carry them along on their journey of discovery, the couple drifts apart and comes together. Their journey carries the movie. Pent up emotions surface: rage, fear, blame and love.

What is the first rule of survival in a situation like this? I have no idea as I am not a scuba diver. I have been on snorkling cruises and I make sure to tell someone on board to make sure the boat does not leave without me. I swim for fitness and I know very well how the perception of time changes while in the water. You cannot fight the ocean currents. Like life, you have to go with the flow. Sometimes, it's not easy.

The bulk of the movie is the struggle of Susan and Daniel to cope with the situation, cross-cut with images of the oblivious ouside world. Life goes on! Our life is completely separate from the struggling couple. As we down our martinis, mai-tais, or go about or daily lives, two people are in dire straights. Since we don't know about it, we don't care. If we did know about it, there is nothing we could do to help them... so we don't care!

Open Water puts us in the center of that uncaring situation, and makes us care. The two lead actors take us on this journey. In the back of our minds is: What would we do?

Daniel Travis and Blanchard Ryan in Open WaterOpen Water is a tense thriller! Chris Kentis has written and directed a wonderful movie. The cinematography is both beautiful and scary. The world above water is scerene and peaceful. The world below is a differnt story. Sharks are the apex predators in this environment. It is their job to clean up the oceans, to prey upon the wounded elements from the world. Its nothing personal. They do what they do, very well. Susan and Daniel are left with a dilemma. How to justify their relationship now that they are in a world where you must blend in, disappear as it were, and be ignored by the predators that just don't care.

The kicker is the absence of a music track. We are left with the sounds of nature doing what nature does to survive, mainly silence and the conversations of the couple as they fall farther apart and drift closer together. The cinematography helps convey the differences between what is on the surface and what lurks beneath. There is a great shot of the serene open water and then the camera dives below the surface to reveal the unseen dangers all around as the sharks go on a feeding frenzy. There are several amazing shots of the couple floating on the surface as the sharks swim around. The trick here is: don't look like shark bait!