Saturday, February 07, 2009

Film: Shyamalan's The Happening

I have watched most of M Night Shyamalan's films, and on the whole I have found them quite imaginative, with some thoughtful writing.

I watched his latest film, The Happening on DVD, apparently having missed any theatrical release.

And I have to say, this film is surprisingly woeful. He writes in a similar milieu to his other works, but for some reason imbues this one with a paucity of meaning and quite an off-putting context - that in which people are en masse imbued with fully-realised suicidal impulses.

The point was weak, the story development was correspondingly so - in all its few tangents - and the characters unsympathetic. Casting was quite shoddy, and the actors neither developed or were encouraged to develop any depth of experience. This was more akin to a cheap slasher film than an intricately woven supernatural thriller.

I'm quite surprised to see such a mainline release that is so poorly planned and executed. Not recommended.

8 Feb Note: although the derisive casting (and acting) are not emphasised enough, a review in Time magazine bears an eerie similarity to the set of feelings I have for this film. (I hardly ever see a review that so closely echo my own sentiments.)

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