Thursday, 17 January 2008


So far I've not been disappointed with any of Shyamalan's movies and it seems to me that the people who have been are those who condemn him for not making the films that they expected him to make. One of the criticisms that you hear most often is that all his movies try to repeat the twist in the tail success of his biggest box-offic hit SIXTH SENSE. Well, maybe that has been true, but as somebody who is more than happy to admit that I was suckered in by SIXTH SENSE right up until the ring hit the floor, I really don't have a problem with that. The secret of UNBREAKABLE crept up on me slowly as the plot progressed so Bruce Willis and I sort of figured it out together and although I sussed out the secret of THE VILLAGE even before I saw it I enjoyed the things that Night was saying so much and admired how he said them that I really didn't care what the critcs or the so-called fans were saying. The reception for LADY IN THE WATER was pretty awful and for various reasons it has taken me a long while to get around to it. Well, they can't say he's repeating himself this time. Cards are on the table very early in the movie, There is a water nymph living in the guy's pool. End of story inasmuch as the film wastes absolutely no time in having his character try to make everybody else believe it. He tells them and they believe him right away. Hey, buddy. what can we do to help ? Nobody doubts that there are big monster lurking out there in the bushes and everybody believes that a giant eagle is going to swoop down and take the water babe home. It's not a thriller (although it has a few thrills), it's not a comedy (although it has quite a few nice understated laughs) and I'd be hard pressed to point to any other movie that it resembles - and THAT, my friends, is it's strength. That is Night Shyamalan's strength - he is NOT making movies that are like anybody else's movies. In an industry that is obessed with repeating itself this is a breath of fresh air. It doesn't matter in the slightest that Night does not make the best movies ever made because he is making personal films that engage the viewer in a way that few films from the mainstream of Hollywood do these days. My take on LADY IN THE WATER (and I am sure that yours will be very different from mine - and so it should be) is that it's a metaphor for life and how we as individuals should approach it. It's about responsibility to our fellows and about aspirations. But don't think that this is a preachy type film that is going to hit you over the head with a message. You will take away from the movie equal shares of what you bring to it. Give it a chance, let it speak to you.Don't worry too much about understanding everything or having all the answers spelled out for you. I ended the film wondering exactly what I'd just seen, but I had a smile on my face and I felt that I had just shared something with the characters in the film.When was the last time a Hollywood movie did that for you ? Rating ***

1 comment:

Cerpts said...

All I ask is that a movie entertains me. I also admire a director who DOESNT give the viewer the same film over and over and tries to do something different. He may fail but at least he tried. Of all his movies, I've only seen THE SIXTH SENSE and UNBREAKABLE and liked them both. My friend Finky liked SIGNS and now I'll keep a lookout for THE VILLAGE and LADY IN THE WATER after your review. I haven't been avoiding them (since you know I never let anyone's opinion from deterring me from watching a film) but never seem to have gotten around to seeing them . . .and I never make up my mind about a film before I watch it. But now I'll watch for them the next time they roll around the TV dial.