| User's Rating
| Date Posted
| 11th June, 2008
Another challenging film from Mr. Shyamalan
At a second that 'The Happening' ended, I was basically wordless. First thing that came out from my mouth was, "you're one of egoistic bastard, Mr. Shyamalan. I envy you."
No, I didn't love this movie. But how Mr. Shyamalan refuses to go stream and continues to 'believe' in his own story (or should I say 'his own world') really impresses me. 'The Happening' is a(nother) proof that he doesn't give a damn thing about the audience. He is a capable director. And he would easily success in rebound (commercially), had he gone with the simple (meaning, less absurd) storyline. And that was what I thought he would do after two commercially failures, I thought he was going to give up and lean toward the mainstream one. But instead, he chose not to. And that's, in my humble opinion, something worth-praising.
Originality, unpredictability are what have always been the interesting part of the 'Shyamalan' idea, especially his recent films. Those elements are still here, his latest film, 'The Happening'. Some audience will find it superb. Instead, some will have the idea of absurdity to be 'ridicule', unpredictability to be 'nonsense'.
I was one of the former with 'The Village', I loved that film. With 'Lady in the Water', I was one of the later. But with 'The Happening', I think I'm standing in the middle of two, leaning a bit toward to both sides in the same time.
Yes, the absurdity of the basic storyline bothered me all the way end while watching this movie. Call me imagining-less or whatever, but the question I was asking myself while watching this film is 'Can this really be Happening?'. The worse thing is, I can't really blame the script for this part. There was the explanation of all this 'happening'. And the explanation was unarguable. Especially, for me who believe in this quote from this film;
"Science will come up with some reason to put in the books, but in the end it will be just a theory. We will fail to acknowledge that there are forces that work beyond our understanding."
So yes, while the idea bothered me while watching. But in the end, it wasn't a movie's flaw at all.
The acting was solid all around. The directing was really great as usual, unarguably great as usual as well. I've always considered him to be one of those who is good in building the suspense. The R-rated scenes might come out ridiculous for some, but not me. I found those scenes to be very creepy. Though some of them make no sense, it's still effective.
So, what is the problem?
It's the same old issue with his previous film. It's his ego of his desire in pulling out his story. Which, as odd as it sounds, is worth-praising at the same time. The idea is ruined when unfold into a script of 80 minute-long film. While in 'Lady in the Water', the demolition is how lots of things happened and all became one messed up. In 'The Happening', is how, simply, nothing happened. This, also, leads to another flaw; the lack in development of marriage-problem plot line.
However, I still liked the film, although not much. It's still a challenging film. My faith in Mr. Shyamalan stays still. There will be the day when his brilliant directing is to serve the equally brilliant written script of his wonderful idea (whether by him or someone else). And I'm eager for that day to come.