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Shelf Pick

The Shallows

Sometimes dropping out of med school to surf the beaches of Mexico is NECESSARY for personal growth. Your parents might kill you for it but hey, you do what you got to do! It’s called self-care mom. For this young surfer, it involved facing death in the face to realize what she wanted for herself. This film held a special spot on our shelf for expressing themes of following in your family’s athletic footprints, surfing as a water sport and NEVER giving up. And also why not taking all the necessary safety procedures when participating in a sport can be the worst decision you will make in your entire life.

Why did we put The Shallows on The Shelf?

Surfing is an incredible craft that should not be taken for granted. Nancy Adams shows this in the earlier montages in the film, demonstrating the skill needed to balance on those waves. Not only does she demonstrate the core strength require to stay balanced on the board, but the ability to remain balanced through the natural elements before her. Not only that but to surf there are two important aspects to consider before you get started. One, getting the right board is not as simple as getting the coolest looking one. They are made differently and it is important to select the one right for you. Two, learning the absolute basics is essential but cannot completely prepare you. It is important to consider the curvature of the waves and that they are NEVER consistent. Surfing goes beyond skill; you have to be straight up braver than the rest. You better believe we are keeping a surf film like this one on our shelf.

The Shallows belongs on The Shelf because...

If you are very involved in one particular sport, chances are you got involved by following in the footsteps of a loved one. Adams gets the idea to leave medical school and fly down to the shores of Mexico and surf the same waves that her late mother surfed, before passing to Cancer. She does this in order to feel close to her mother again. A devastating truth we learn real quick in the film is that the pain and suffering she endured from watching her mom become sick and eventually pass away, she is able to channel into a strength that keeps her alive when confronted with a murderous shark that should not be near such shallow waters. She channels the pain she suffered through losing her mom as a strength for the fight of her life. This demonstrates another theme, being to never give up no matter what.

Now, although all that determination was admirable, it does remind us that safety precautions should always be taken when perusing our favourite sports. Because it is clear that if they are not taken, we MAY be attacked by a shark in the shallows of Mexico. I don’t want to be the bearer of bad news, but everything that went wrong for Adams could have been avoided. For example, the moment she realized her surfing buddy was backing out, she should have rescheduled her surf day. It is vital that when exploring new territory with a low population that SOMEONE knows where you are and when to expect you back. Or you may end up laying on the back of a dead whale in the middle of the ocean, praying that someone else decided to surf that very day as well. Injuries, trauma and death can be avoided when the right precautions are made. So surf smart, go with a partner!

Melissa's Final Thoughts

The Shallows is a film that demonstrates healthy reminders of why and how to conduct certain sports of our choosing. It reminds us of the sentimental value of why we choose certain sports, how to never give up when it seems impossible to win and to always play safe. But also reminds us that surfing is just plain epic! How could we not keep a film like The Shallows on our shelf? Easy, we do.

On The shelf