Lady in the Water (2006)

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Lady in the Water (2006)

Postby justindeimen » Tue Aug 01, 2006 8:21 am

I think the critics had a problem with it from a film theory point of view because it didn't build on the characters, often leaving them stereotypes to work with and unexplained backstories. You can't say that any of the characters have relevant depth. At least thats what I get when they say Shyamalan has no narrative cohesion which was arguably Sixth Sense's most notable point.

But from a perspective of a film-going experience, I can see see why I like it and why its advocates might have liked it as well. It is a bedtime story come to life which is why the overwrought scenes work. It's like something you might have daydreamed about after reading a fairy tale anthology. It's so visceral and in the moment for the greater part of the film, when you're on your toes to find out what he's going to pull out of his hat next. Maybe a witch? Perhaps a character reversal that was not hinted at? It does seem like a story he made on the fly which somehow made sense in the context of the tale.

It's also a beautiful picture that puts you right in the atmosphere of the apartment complex that it hardly departs from, imaginative angles and the intriguing dialogue is something I've come to expect from his films. He's also tried out humour this time round with the critical inclusion of Paul Giamatti which I felt was its biggest asset. He manages to switch between drama and comedy with such ease that his character is rightly the centre of the entire film.

I also don't see the big hullabaloo about Shyamalan casting himself as the future's intellectual saviour, he could have easily casted somebody else but its not like his acting ruined the film. He wasn't Sofia Coppola bad by any stretch of the imagination. It's a personal project for him, especially with the critic character's inclusion. It's an audible F**k You to those that can his films after Sixth Sense like they were the biggest creative flops ever made. If they failed to see some humour in that then they do deserve to get flipped off. Director's have egos, some have vast vanity projects, and people need to understand why thats interesting not insulting.

I really do feel like watching the movie again, I would think it'd be better the second time around. Like being told a bedtime story again and again or playing through an RPG again just because the glut of characters and mythos were so exciting the first time round.

Re: Lady in the Water (2006)

Postby trevor826 » Wed Aug 30, 2006 1:01 pm

Caught it last night and left the cinema having seen an enjoyable film. I think justindeimen has hit on several valid points in his comments for the film. I'm glad M. Night Shyamalan hasn't made the same mistakes as directors like Peter Jackson, always thinking that their next project has to be bigger to be better or repeating their previous successes (which would have been the easy option for him).

Lady in the Water is a child friendly fantasy and an optimistic tale for anyone of any age.

Cheers Trev.

Re: Lady in the Water (2006)

Postby wpqx » Wed Aug 30, 2006 2:16 pm

Indeed, I found it every enjoyable. I'm not sure how it was marketed in the rest of the world, but a rather awful job of it was done here. Every preview was full of about ten shots of the creature and screaming. Thankfully I saw nothing until after the film, because I would have felt awfully duped. I was thinking of the similar fiasco when Heathers was released, and they were also trying to make it into some teen horror film when it is one of the supremely perfect black comedies of all time.

I certainly found Lady in the Water an improvement over his last few efforts, but I believe the public outcry might twist his arm into making a more typical feature. However looking at the film it has nearly every element one would expect in one of his films. I just love the way that everything has its place and purpose in one of his films, and no matter how insignificant a detail might seem, it always ties into the big picture.

On another note though I wasn't overly impressed with Howard's performance here, but the supremely good Giamatti more than carried the weight of the film.

Re: Lady in the Water (2006)

Postby MikLosk » Wed Sep 06, 2006 7:27 am

Fairy tale, you say??? It's pretentious boring delirium and nothing more. The worst movie I saw this year.

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