M. Night Shyamalan's Problem or Quality
Does this writer, director & producer have a problem or do we view it as a quality? That's exactly what we'll be delving into this time around & as much as I love films I'm sure I'll be able to get you thinking one way or the other.
When my brother told me that I had to see this movie called The Visit it was with a tone of seriousness & a hint of excitement. He went on to tell me that it was an M. Night film & I quickly proceeded to tell him I was in!
I'm sure some of you don't relate to my enthusiasm so I'll take it from the top.
When the Sixth Sense hit the year was about 1999 & I was 16. I thought it was insane & the entire family loved it. I personally did not love Unbreakable. Maybe I should see it again now that I'm older but I remember thinking Samuel L. Jackson's character was too pathetic & laughing at the film more than I should have been. I definitely respected what Shyamalan did with Signs! An amazing movie & if we fast forward to Lady in the Water I began to see several patterns in these movies. These organic stories are presented by M. Night with an intention of complexity but a higher percentage of intrigue. What I believe he wants depicted more than anything is the presence of the contrasting realities in his films. What I mean by that is the reality he leads us into initially, the reality we begin to suspect as truth & the reality we find after the shoe drops on reality #2. It was while watching The Village for the 1st time that I realized he just might be a genius. He was able to write a love story within a suspense-thriller, have people think it may be a horror film but by the end the girl lives & so does her mortally wounded boyfriend.
frustrations with Shyamalan?
I've heard some refer to The Village as "annoying" & I've read where others have stated how it's disappointing that Shyamalan didn't use all those perfect ingredients to create an amazing horror film.
Originally I was disappointed as I began to realize with fear that the film was going to hurl a huge curveball my way. However, I was already in love with the characters of the film & too invested to be aggitated by where he decided to take the movie.
Lucius Hunt, played by actor Joaquin Phoenix is the awkward & unlikely hero that helped to convince me to like this movie. I don't even like Phoenix very much but after seeing his performances in The Village & Gladiator I now respect him a great deal.
Ivy Walker is played by Bryce Dallas Howard & reveals to us the blind, beautiful & unlikely heroine character of the film. I literally almost fell in love with her while watching this movie. Sigh... Reality is a killer.
Edward Walker. Played by William Hurt & he tells the story of a strong & compassionate man with a great deal of insight & restraint.
Noah Percy (one of my favorite in the film) was played by actor Adrien Brody & he gave us a conflicted individual with deep feelings for Ivy Walker & deep feelings for mischief. Prior to this movie I was not familiar with the actor but he is good. Take it from someone who's worked for programs assisting people with mental & physical disabilities. Much respect Brody. Much respect.
Now, back to M. Night's current movie. The Visit. Yes! He got me good! At the end of the film I was almost pissed off because I guessed wrong about the big reveal. With The Village I totally figured it out but not this one & he's gotten smoother with each part of the film.
I think you all should check out his movies if you have not but remember, don't go into it with your own structure of what you expect to see. Just let him tell the story through the characters themselves.