Hello everyone! 🙂
Welcome to ‘Bradley’s Basement’ blog and I’m Tim Bradley!
It’s Spring Bank Holiday Monday in May in the UK today! 🙂 And I’ve now seen the second of three birthday presents I had from my best mate Stephen. This is of course the movie, ‘Lady In The Water’.
(Moment of silence)
What did I just watch?!
Okay, let me start again. This is one of the three birthday present movies from Stephen that is considered to be ‘very bad’. The first one was ‘Gravity’ which was considered ‘good’ and the third one…well, you’ll have to wait for my review on that one…is considered ‘funny’. Is this film really bad?
‘Lady In The Water’ is a film written, produced and directed by M. Night Shyamalan. Shyamalan is notorious for making strange, unintentionally funny and often nonsensical films. They include ‘Signs’, ‘The Last Airbender’ and ‘The Happening’. I found out about this director last year in 2017.
Now I’m not one for looking for films that are criticised heavily unless I get told about them and they perk my interest. My best mate Stephen got me aware of Shyamalan’s directing ‘talents’ via reviews of ‘The Happening’ and ‘Lady In The Water’ by the Nostalgia Critic. I’ve also seen trailers for this film.
Yeah I was around that time when ‘Lady In The Water’ was previewed at the cinema back in 2006. I never saw this film at the cinema by the way. I was expecting this to be a creepy, supernatural thriller. It didn’t quite turn out like that. For me, it’s essentially a bizarre ‘bedtime story’ style of film.
Did I think it was ‘very bad’? Well…to be honest with you…no. I don’t think it was that bad. I mean, okay there are things that are weird and don’t make sense. It’s pretty clunky in places and there are times when I felt this film was slow moving and not much action was happening. But I found it okay.
Shyamalan does introduce some intriguing concepts and ideas about a fantasy world which he created himself in a bedtime story for his children. I could get a sense there was a story trying to get out especially with the Blue World, the sea nymph-like Narfs; the wolf-like Scrunts and many others.
Essentially the film’s about Paul Giamatti as Cleveland Heep, a superintendent of a Philadelphian apartment complex. He discovers a sea nymph lady in the swimming pool. This is Bryce Dallas Howard (who played Gwen Stacy in ‘Spider-Man 3’) as Story (yeah I know that name’s so ridiculous).
The story all takes place inside this apartment complex as Cleveland helps Story the water lady to get back to her own home Blue World after she sees a certain writer person to give him an important message. Cleveland has to protect Story from the vicious-like Scrunt that is attacking her.
Throughout the film there are a lot of odd moments that don’t make sense and are easily laughable. This includes the scene where Cleveland carries Story in her semi-naked form and they scream running away from something that isn’t there. I could have confused the swimming pool as a threat.
There’s also this odd scene where a little boy – Noah Gray-Cabey as Joey – is predicting the future of an ancient civilization by looking at some cereal boxes. Seriously, how could you not laugh out loud at that? It’s also nonsensical, since it’s never explained how Joey can see the future through cereal boxes.
The performances of the cast are decent in this movie. Whilst I got slightly annoyed by Paul Giamatti as Cleveland’s stutters, I found his backstory as a character with his family interesting. Bryce Dallas Howard is good, although I wonder why she couldn’t speak openly to tell Cleveland what she wants.
The cast also includes Bob Balaban as Harry Farber the movie critic; Jeffrey Wright as Mr. Dury, Joey’s father, who loves crossword puzzles; Sarita Choudhury as Anna Ran; Freddy Rodrigeuz as Reggie; Bill Irwin as Mr. Leeds; Jared Harris as Goatie Smoker and Cindy Cheung as Young-Soon Choi.
The notorious cast member of all is of course director M. Night Shyamalan as Vick Ran. I’m not making this up. The director of this movie plays the writer of ‘The Cookbook’ book (?!) that Story the water lady meets to give an important message to. I don’t know how egotistical you can get with that.
The film also ends on a rather abrupt note. Story the water lady gets taken away by an eagle; everybody including Cleveland looks up into the night sky to see her go and then it stops. Even for me, I couldn’t help get a feeling of “Is that it?!” I would’ve ended it differently and with more clarity.
‘Lady In The Water’ is not a great film. But it’s not atrociously bad. It’s pretty complex even for a bedtime story that Shyamalan intended. But the visual imagery is beautiful and some of the concepts are pretty intriguing. I would have written the story differently compared to how Shaymalan did it.
This film does need to be seen more than once, I think.
Thanks for reading!
Bye for now!