Evelyn GoughIn the Picture
Lady in the Water
Written, directed and produced by M Night Shyamalan
From M Night Shyamalan, the man behind one of my favourite films, The Sixth Sense, comes this latest attempt to recapture his ever swindling audience. Because lets face it, all his following movies have been duds with a capital D! And its not like I havent given them a chance. I really wanted Unbreakable, Signs and The Village to be as mind blowing as his debut film, even half as mind blowing would have done me, but they werent, they were all a big disappointment.
So, how will Lady in the Water rate, a fantasy based on a bedtime story the director told his own children about a magical place called the Blue World which is inhabited by water nymphs. Once upon a time this world and our world were connected but gradually the humans changed for the worse and the water nymphs or Narfs left, much to our detriment. But every now and again a Narf will return, her mission being to find one special person and awaken in them their destiny, which is to change the world for the better...
Its a dangerous mission. Deadly hyena-like creatures called Scrunts, with glowing red eyes, lurk in the darkness waiting for the Narf. Its their job to kill the water nymph before she can return to her own world...
Its a beautiful story but does it translate to the big screen successfully?
Initially Cleveland Heep (Paul Giamatti) thinks one of the tenants in the apartment complex he supers is breaking the rules and swimming after dark. He has no problem believing the beautiful naked girl he finds in the pool is actually a Narf called Story (Bryce Dallas Howard) and sets about helping her to complete her mission. He is helped by his Korean neighbour Young-Soon Choi (Cindy Cheung) and her grandmother (June Kyoto Lu) who know the legend of the Blue World and the dangers that await Story...
I would love to be able to rave about Lady in the Water and say how fabulous it is but I cant. I found it silly and unbelievable. And I love a good fantasy. Emphasis on good! Im willing to believe in anything but M Night Shyamalan has lost the plot.
Admittedly my companion liked it better than Signs but personally I dont think thats much of a recommendation. And why does the director insist on appearing in all his films? Hes already writing, directing and producing them... isnt that enough? The guys not even that great an actor. And were not talking spot the director like in Alfred Hitchcocks films, which is good fun. Were talking about playing a major role!
Lady in the Water had potential, it does have an eerie, dreamy feel to it and I think Paul Giamatti is a great actor. Its just a shame about everything else.