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One of the primary purposes of movies and television shows is to entertain the public, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they can’t teach us something as well. Many writers, directors and producers aim for their projects to reflect our changing world. However, some projects become timelier as new things happen, and this would appear to be the case with Underwater.
While speaking with Underwater director William Eubank, I asked him why the idea of man (and woman) vs. nature is a common theme among his films. Eubank responded by saying that he loves primal storytelling and the idea of having his characters face unknown elements. Interestingly, the filmmaker sees a parallel between the film and the current situation our society is facing:
William Eubank makes an interesting observation, and it’s certainly not unfounded. Many were caught off guard by the coronavirus, as were the characters of Underwater by what they discovered at the bottom of the ocean. And just as the film ends with an uncertain future, this pandemic has also caused a bit of uncertainty for us as well.
Through Underwater, Eubank also manages to illustrate the political implications of dealing with natural elements. The events of the film are set in motion by a corporate entity’s desire to drill at the bottom of the ocean. In the same way, COVID-19 has caused shifts in our political landscape.
Whether we want to acknowledge it or not, creatives are always trying to find ways to make their work relevant to the times. For instance, Captain America directors Joe and Anthony Russo aimed to make Steve Rogers a metaphor for the ups and downs faced by society. Luke Cage is also a character that's been used to convey social commentary. And based on what’s happening now, I think most would agree that 2011’s Contagion is now more relevant than ever.
It never hurts to plug audiences into what’s going on around them and, with Underwater, William Eubank does that swimmingly.
Underwater is now available on Digital, Blu-ray and DVD.
Covering superheroes, sci-fi, comedy, and almost anything else in film and TV. I eat more pizza than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
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