Lady in the Water (2006)

Can you please just leave the “Story” in the swimming pool?!?

Lady in the Water

Warner Bros. Pictures in association with Legendary Pictures and Blinding Edge Pictures present…

It all started with a bed time story…

M. Night Shyamalan was fantastic and then it’s all downhill post-mortem “The Sixth Sense”. Every time he makes a film it always indoctrinate the weird twist and the supernatural. Of course every Director has his forte and weaknesses but his take on his projects made on the big screen has been so much criticized for being…let’s just say out of this world!

I’m not saying it’s a bad thing and I did not mean it to be good either! He always wants his viewers to feel something different, something palpable and yet, it draws more pessimism.  I hate to think that this is all he can do where in fact, his work entails so much envisioned thought as well as wonderful ideas that can be further elaborated, I believe that stories can be in-depth plus still have the element of being enjoyable rather than having it in a whirlpool of conundrums… I don’t need to compare nor make him less commendable from other Directors right? But the fact is, he is into a mass media field of expertise and I think it is imperative to be direct to the point in his work.

It’s a first time I have reviewed his films and it still keeps me guessing, what makes it work? What makes him tick? All the cast and crew had fun and a great time shooting the film, then why do I find it meaningless? I’m trying to get a point here, even my statements are heading towards questions that still need answers.

To put it lightly, there are given sequences that were dense, diving into the pool with clothes and shoes on! Discrepancies about after being rested into bed the sheets were dry and while in fact he was still soaking wet? Furthermore, of all people who needs to have the coveted role, it was him that needs to be the philosophical, gifted character! He even leaves a subliminal in specific sequences stating how he should be taken seriously to think he was not even special … how egocentric can you get?!? Another area was, I know it gives more levity to the myth and lore of the title character and have a Chinese explain this maybe for some reason that they are more inclined in these types of stories and run through its history. But come on, I can’t even understand their English! This is a crucial part of understanding the origins that furthermore made it more complex!

These instances and the people who support the premise made me think about Steven Spielberg’s film “Batteries Not Included”, yes it was a sci-fi, fantasy flick but with greater purpose for the neighbors to work out their problems. Here, I was still at the mid-point of the film and I’m already bored! Even the two lead characters were on the spotlight 90% of the time, which leaves Heep in a predicament that made him carry the work load more. To add, the plot became more of a muddle since patched up lines are left to supporting casts leaving them standing on the side lines, in short they were mere props! (the cereal boxes in the cupboard had better screen time).

The fiction was so shallow and with the screenplay running, there was not enough material to spread the entire fairy tale! Its proof enough how bad it was, not terrible but it was inclined into that detestable direction. The reception of the box office receipts were a measly $42 million not even enough to cover production expenses.

Paul Giamatti‘s (Shoot ‘Em Up) work ethic is without question full of vigor and vibrancy from a reluctant hero and especially to villains in most films that he has made. But playing Cleveland Heep, was over reacted his voice impediments were not authentic at all. I would not know entirely the reason why? But maybe it’s how M. Night Shyamalan envisioned the aforementioned main protagonist from his story. He runs around to find answers while at the same time searching for clues for this girl to be saved, it’s like going in circles in a labyrinth and the Minotaur is closing in!

Bryce Dallas Howard (The Village) plays Story the water nymph. In my opinion she is still an underrated actress who needs to present real acting! She can play a diversity of roles while keeping it intact and yet, it’s less appreciated. Her portrayal was too human, voice, delivery, not believable of being a nymph or otherwise. Also, what’s with her hair color changing now and then even at one point she looked like an albino!

The connection of the film’s talent was abysmal, scattered and without any congruence at all! I would not even dare to discuss or elaborate the supporting casts it’s not worth it.  As if they were hypnotized to say and do their parts when the time arises.  I even can’t believe I’ve said “WOW” four to five times (with sarcasm!!!)

To the kids of the Director, I can’t blame you he’s your Dad and his words will always inspire your dreams and imagination in time! The film‘s intention was heartfelt albeit the nonsensical innuendo of charades that can’t be solved in spite of a lot of players!  But for the rest of us…we have our own parents to tell our bed time stories!

Bad Night!!!


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