Review : Lady in the Water

Title : Lady in the Water
Director : M. Night Shyamalan
Main Actors : Paul Giamatti & Bryce Dallas Howard
IMDB Ref : Lady in the Water

Pitch : In a building populated with highly colorful characters, Cleveland Heep is the caretaker with a broken heart, and a shadowy past. He is not aware of a new – and magical – tenant, living in the pool. When he finally meets with Story the Water Nymph, who is hunted by a vicious Scrunt, he tries to help her by gathering the other residents in a fantastic Quest.

From the pitch, one could think this is another toddler movie… and would be right. But that’s not all there is to it. Even though the story (don’t mix with Story the Water Nymph…) follows the simple damsel-in-distress-let-s-build-a-Company-to-save-her, the movie itself is a little masterpiece. All the characters have several layers, and while kiddos will just appreciate the plot, grown-ups will just wonder why they didn’t see their neighbors that way all along. My favorites include the know-it-all guy, and the muscle-brained gym enthusiast.

All in all, I spent these 2h enjoying myself, wishing that we could go a little deeper into this world. Who really are the Tartutic? How many of these Narfs and Scrunts are there? Why are there laws that allow, or not, certain actions? What are these laws?

And when you just talk about it, people say “Who cares? It’s just a(nother) fantasy world…”. It’s true, but when you see the film, you are, just like the characters, involved in something big. Too big to understand. You just see the story from the point of view of simple, mundane, people who don’t really understand what’s going on, and don’t care, because they don’t have time to think. They accept the magic and go on with their role because they don’t have any choice.

I think that’s the genius of M. Night Shyamalan. Everyone acts rationally up to the point where they don’t, because it feels natural to them. And he puts us right there. We all want to believe in magic, and some of us do, in a way. What would you do if you had a proof that it actually exists? He bets that we would go for it and accept it, and he is probably right. And so, we tag along with this completely unlikely band of people who doesn’t try to save the world, the universe, or anything big, but just a frail and quite defenseless Lady.


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