29 August 2006

Review - Lady In The Water

Imagine this. Shyamalan with his very first movie shakes the way Hollywood was watching movies. His second and third movies do have a little bit of a "Gotcha" in the end. However, when he tries to tell a simple story, he unfortunately, is caught in the web of his own expectations and gets panned and riled by every Tom, Dick and Harry.

Lady in the water is a simple movie but made pretty decently. It is about a bedtime story of Narfs who live in water and the reasons for which they come up to the land and stuff. The apartment complex where a bunch of people live has a narf in the swimming pool. Why it came out and how it is going to get back to water forms the movie. As some of my friends remarked, the story itself sounds very hollow. I don't think it is anything hollow than a bunch of guys going to space, or a bunch of guys blowing up a meteor or something. However, what makes this movie pretty different from all the other ones getting released of late is this. The characterization. In an almost pulling the strings manner, every character is developed neatly and fits in amazingly well into the whole picture of things. Shyamalan instead of playing the cameo he used to do in his earlier movies, tries his hand at an almost full length role. In fact, he could do with some more facial expressions, but on the whole he did do a good job. Anything more i describe about the characters and i might give the story away and hence shall refrain from doing so.

This is not a movie where you go expecting Shyamalan to give another "Gotcha" movie. Get yourself oriented for a simple movie made in the early 70's or early 80's style where the narrative is pretty even paced, and story telling and characterization get more emphasis than mundane fighting and SFX. On the whole i think Shyamalan makes an important point here with this movie. We should stop comparing directors based on their earlier works and try to assess them based on what they give now. I think Shyamalan is coming a full circle. Instead of confining himself to a niche genre of movies, he is trying to expand his reportorie. Paul Gilmatti was a surprise package in this movie. With his facial expressions and his voice modulations, he gives a neat and clinical performance. The background score was quite appropriate in most places. As i said, since this is not a whodunit or a "Gotcha" story, there was no need to give a feeling of the impending doom through the background music. In that aspect, the Music director has done a good job indeed by giving out sounds quite appropriate to the mood of the scene.

On the whole a pretty good movie to watch.

Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 2:50 AM


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