Thursday, September 28, 2006

Sirens (1994)

Sirens (1994)
Dir.: John Duigan
TC4P Rating: 6/9
Species: Not described, though obviously of a "man-eating" variety.
Appearance: Via brief dialogue only.

No actual shark appears in Sirens, which some may remember (or were drawn to initially) because the film’s chief draw was marvelous display for rampant female nudity of the Australian variety. Generally land-bound, the film manages to work a shark into the dialogue, as one of their number is mentioned as an instrument of paternal destruction as Portia de Rossi's character, Giddy, explains her past to Tara Fitzgerald's clergyman's wife, Estella:

Giddy: "Mine was taken by a shark."
Estella: "God! How awful!"
Giddy: "Yeah, yeah. Wasn't much left of him. So I was brought up mainly by my mother."

This dialogue is rather tossed off in Sirens, and has no real impact on the remainder of the film.  In deference to this tone, thankfully no shark shows up physically to potentially darken the film’s light comic atmosphere, especially given that many scenes in this film take place in the water. Since these are mainly ponds and streams where the film's artist (played by Sam Neill) has his trio of highly sexualized "sirens"/models go skinny-dipping and cavorting as subjects for his art, there is little chance of an attack (unless, of course, a bull shark happened along. And as the purpose of the film is light titillation and seduction with generally comic overtones, this is a good thing. 

No matter how tempting the girls in Sirens may be (most appealing among whom, many may contend, is supermodel Elle MacPherson, though she has never really been my cup of tea), even to the highly flustered clergyman (played, of course, by Hugh Grant) and his sheltered wife, they're still not enough to make a shark change his ways. So, for once, it is a relief that no sharks actually appear here.

RTJ

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