What Happened?

M. Night Shyamalan's latest offering has confused me. While I retain some remnant of belief that this must be a good film because of the guy who made it, the fact remains that I have never been more horrified by a movie in my life.

There were things I liked about it, of course. Mark Wahlberg's character was great, and the husband/wife relationship was fabulous. As in most Shyamalan films, the portrayal of ordinary people was touching and rang very true.

However, the violence in this movie was of a sort that I found nauseatingly reminiscent of Pan's Labyrinth. There was that same cruel calmness in it, although in this case I might be persuaded that there was a point to it. The levels of sheer violence were much higher. And when it ended, I was more shaken than I've ever been at the end of any movie, including such emotionally disturbing examples as Hotel Rwanda, Beyond the Gates, Schindler's List, and The Killing Fields.

I'm thinking I need a certain brother in law to watch it. Too bad Lander won't get it in for several more months...


Anonymous said...

I was puzzled by the violence as well-the fact that the camera never left when you thought it would, and how weird it seemed. on the other hand, it completely fits with the rest of the movie that you have to watch these people calmly kill themselves, almost methodically. the same way every time i look at the LA times and see all the triumphal editorials about same-sex marriage or go to the beach and see all the people there smoking and drinking their lives away. why can't these people in our everyday experience, like the people in the movie, see what they're doing? we, the viewers know exactly what is going to happen next, why can't they?

"Father Barry" said...

I'll be honest: I'm afraid to watch this movie. The "R" rating seems to cut at the very heart of what makes M. Night so effective, though Stephen points out that there may be a reason for it in this instance.

I'll still see it, don't get me wrong. But my anticipation is shot through with trepidation.

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