Lady in the Water

Look, I’ve never agreed with critics/popular opinion about M. Night Shyamalan’s movies. The ones that others hated, I liked. I thought The Sixth Sense was boring and pretty much run of the mill Hollywood thriller. Unbreakable, pretty cool. Signs, fantastic. The Village, one of the best movies ever, which many people hated. Lady in the Water wasn’t quite as bad as many critics said it was. It was just misunderstand. It doesn’t follow many conventions that a convential narrative storyline would have, therefore people want to put no effort into understanding it. Of COURSE it was totally unbelieveable. Why did everyone in the apartment complex accept the story of a mysterious water fairy without questioning? Ok, maybe that was hard to get past, but there were other cool layers of stuff to think about. Unlike his other movies, there was no “surprise” ending. It ended exactly as the characters implied it would, which maybe disappointed people. Also, as the tagline, implied, this was more of a story than his other movies. The depth of plot was that of a short story, whereas the other movies were more like novels, where the characters were developed more. I also enjoyed the claustrophobic aspects of the movie, where everything happens within one setting (one of the reasons I like Battlestar).

Sure, M. Night Shyamalan can come across egomaniacal in the film. He casts himself as someone whose ideas will eventually change the course of human thought. And the fact that he casts himself. I guess I would say that the ideas behind the movie was great, but maybe the execution was flawed. (I sound like a judge on Top Chef). Anyway, there have to be some misses somewhere, and I hope he does continue to make more stuff.

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4 thoughts on “Lady in the Water

  1. Weeeeird. Cuz I rank his films thusly:
    Sixth Sense (great)
    Unbreakable (boring)
    Sings( pretty cool)

    And I am on the same page with you about Lady in the Water.
    I think when you cast someone you should be saying “there’s no one else who could play this role”. It’s gross. There’s a lot of talent out there and if only they were given the opportunity to prove it we wouldn’t have to see musicians and bad reality TV stars try to act.
    I liked the story! and I liked screaming “Cleeeevland, RUUUUUUUUUN”.
    Shyamalan is a little formulaic in his attempts to come across like a “great film maker”.
    He’s already designated his Muse: Brice Dallas Howard
    He’s adapted Hitchcock-esque schtick in his process.

    BUT I think overall he stays true to some sense of “roots” and has a good promo team.

  2. My experience with Unbreakable is weird.

    My first watch I thought it was missing something.

    Second watch – it floored me.

    Third watch – what did I see in it?

    And so on. It is an incredibly curious phenomenon that I’ve never encountered with any other movie.

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