Is It Time to Say Good Night to M. Night?
by David Hartwell
July 3, 2006
I know this is skipping ahead a little bit (with Pirates opening just this weekend), but I feel it necessary to express how important Lady in the Water is to its writer/director, M. Night Shyamalan.
Night, whose name has become almost synonymous with the supernatural and twist endings, is at a very dangerous and risky point in his career as a director. Because of his amazingly surprising The Sixth Sense in 1999, he has basically been green lighted for almost any idea he has, good or not (which may lead him down a path similar to Stephen King's where the stories become more clichÃ© than interesting).
At this point, you may just disregard what I say and think that I am just some M. Night hater, but I assure you, I think his movies are some of the most creative and innovative films on the market, which is why I don't want Lady in the Water to be a flop. If Lady gets subjected to the same criticism and ridicule that The Village received in 2004 (from some people- warranted or not), it will be expected that producers may be much more skeptical before throwing cash Shyamalan's way.
The good news is that the test screenings (though I have no concrete way to confirm this) have been primarily positive. And if Lady in the Water lives up to The Sixth Sense and Signs, then I think that Shyamalan is on his way to becoming a movie mogul. If the hype is killed by a poor audience appreciation and critic negativity, then he may fall among names like Troy Duffy or Michael Cimino.
I hope the title of this article isn't too misleading; I don't want to come off as a typical Shyamalan blaster. But I hope that everyone agrees how important Lady in the Water will be to M. Night Shyamalan's career.
Reader Feedback - 3 Comments
I happen to know that David is a great fan of M. Night, although his commentary would lead one to question his devotion to the great director. David's critique style shows some deeper thinking than I thought he was capable of.
Judy on Jul 6, 2006
i believe it is sad that most people do not comprehend the very profound depths to the meaning behind each and every one of his movies...there is so much to be learned, and there are few who ever will...
t gordon on Jun 3, 2008
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