Film Review: Lady in the Water

11 Aug

Plot: Cleveland Heep, a modest building manager, rescues a mysterious young woman from danger and discovers she is actually a narf–a character from a bedtime story who is trying to make the treacherous journey from our world back to hers. Cleveland and his fellow tenants start to realize that they are also characters in this bedtime story. He works together with the tenants to protect his new fragile friend from the deadly creatures that reside in this fable and are determined to prevent her from returning home. – Courtesy of Yahoo Movies

Narfs. Scrunts. Tartutics.
Add to that the creative genius of M. Night Shyamalan and you get “Lady in the Water”, a beautiful fairy tale film that I hope will get a book treatment, we badly need a new fairy tale that will amuse and make you feel like a child all over again.

I will not be surprised that if you loved “The Sixth Sense” and “Unbreakable”, but felt lukewarmly towards other Night films like “Signs” and “The Village”, you might also feel the same towards this one because if you are looking for another twist ending the way you did in his other outings, then you will be extremely disappointed because there is none. And that is also probably the reason why you will not like this film. It’s a shame that critics and other critic wannabes wrote this film off easily, even questioning Night’s mental state, I for one think that they just dont get it, or will never get Night. In this film the director wants you to simply “feel” and be “awakened”.

Paul Giamatti delivers another stunning performance as Cleveland Heep, a modest building manager battling with his own scars, and the luminous Bryce Dallas Howard as the Lady Narf. Night didnt just do a cameo in this film, he was in it half the time. If you havent seen it yet, dont listen to the negative reviews, give it a chance, sit back, have patience, and you just might experience an ‘awakening’.

Lady in the Water: ****

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7 Responses to “Film Review: Lady in the Water”

  1. Pedro Vecino August 13, 2006 at 2:53 pm #

    I will keep the sleeping fase. Hibernating one. Coma one.

  2. Monette August 13, 2006 at 6:39 pm #

    What did you mean exactly?

  3. Pedro Vecino August 13, 2006 at 6:41 pm #

    Just joking, you know!

    You are not alone in your appreciation of this film. Take a look at these!

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0452637/board/nest/48873130

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0452637/board/nest/50260464

    There are many others!!! Movies talk differently to different people.–>

  4. hapmoorii January 28, 2007 at 12:55 am #

    I had to come over here and read your review after you praised my Filmstalker post. Reading your review is making me take another look at my thoughts on the movie and consider a second viewing. I found several characters, lines, and subplots pretty distracting and really appreciate the first 30-45 minutes (Giamatti and Howard more than others) much more than the rest.

    btw – It looks like there is a children’s book available at Amazon.

  5. Simone January 29, 2007 at 1:01 am #

    Well hap, long time no post! Missed seeing you around here, your blog has been quiet recently too eh?

    Ahh, this is interesting, tell me what you were initially thinking about the film?

  6. hapmoorii January 30, 2007 at 12:41 am #

    Yeah, I’ve been far too busy lately to do much of anything other than try to stay afloat.

    I had a few problems with the film…a lot of them tempered by what I already knew of the film going in.

    Several of the actors and/or their lines kept yanking me out of the experience. MNS’s character’s sister was the biggest distraction followed closely by the crossword puzzle guy. The casting of Mr. Leeds (Bill Irwin) was a really bad decision in my book because we’re supposed to believe Giamatti’s character looks up to him yet he doesn’t seem that much older than Giamatti. The kid reading the cereal boxes also bothered me a bit because it seemed goofy. It’s a PG-13 fairy tale…let’s make it mystical/spiritual/adventurous, not goofy.

    As for Bob Balaban, I understood the point MNS was trying to make, but he just picked a really, really bad way to make it. It’s a good message for cynics like me to keep in mind, but he should have used a different kind of job for the part given his profession and public comments on critics.

    A lof ot people also had issues with MNS’s character and his role in the story. That honestly didn’t bother me at all. In fact, I thought his performance was very good in the role. My problem with that storyline was that it was a cop-out. MNS doesn’t make a political, religious, etc. statement…he just shows us the cover of a book. Of course, that wasn’t the point, I know, but it still kept me from fully buying into the experience.

    I also really didn’t like the way the fairy tale was being fed to us by the girl and her mom. If you replace the necessary details with information coming from Howard’s character, it would help a lot in my opinion. I just didn’t buy that much into the fairy tale after the way it was presented and thought the “act like a kid” scene was totally unncessary.

    The areas where I liked the film really centered around Giamatti’s performance and storyline and his interactions with all of the characters in the movie. Since he’s so central, that’s a large part of the movie even though writing about the negatives took up more space.

  7. Simone February 7, 2008 at 4:33 pm #

    Filmstalker reviews the DVD here:

    http://www.filmstalker.co.uk/archives/2008/02/lady_in_the_water.html

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