Toronto International Film Festival 2021 Capsule Review: Shark

Written by Alexander Reams

63/100

Ever since Steven Spielberg’s Jaws, no one has looked at a body of water the same. That impending fear in the back of our minds that at any moment a shark can come and eat us always keeps us on our toes. In Nash Edgerton’s Shark, it’s not as physical as a metaphorical shark in the form of a jokester. Like its animalistic partner, jokesters are always lying in the shadows, waiting for the climax of their latest bit. Here, Edgerton is joined by Rose Byrne, whose comedic tendencies mesh well with the writer-director-actor-producer Edgerton. Byrne and Edgerton meet, fall in love, and after Byrne conducts a frightening prank on Edgerton’s “Jack”, he asks her to marry him, to which she says yes. That is the kickoff into the honeymoon, where they are going to swim in the ocean (clearly they didn’t take Jaws as a warning sign). Everything from here on is filled with surprises, shock, and dark humor. These are all things that can work well together if taken seriously. In there lies the issue with Edgerton’s latest. The film never takes itself seriously for its benefit and negative. By never taking itself seriously, there is no way to actually be shocked (besides visually, but the shock leaves hilariously quick). I digress, this was still a fun film that made me want to watch the previous entries in the story of “Jack” and see what other pranks he manages to screw up and still pull off.

Shark was screened as part of the 2021 edition of the Toronto International Film Festival.

You can connect with Alexander on his social media profiles: Instagram, Letterboxd, and Twitter. Or see more of his work on his website.

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