Wednesday, June 18

Talking Heads

When I was doing the first draft of my thesis way way back - I remember my then mentor kept on insisting that we refrain from telling the story. "SHOW" - that was his favorite word. Afterall film is a visual medium. If we wanted to just keep on using words - we have radio or the print for that. I was lucky to have been thesismates with two incredibly creative souls. We were the first to get our project proposal approved - already had brilliant ideas on how to execute our opening scene. Think: David Lynch's Blue Velvet. Unfortunately we got stuck with our dead girl in the swamp premise that pretty much everything else felt like selling out or worst everything else felt like executing mediocrity. We had to disbanned if only to stop wallowing about that storyline and move forward.

Show not tell

In film, one of the quickest way to explain the unknown is by using talking heads. Quickest but certainly the least creative. It is short of saying that your audience won't get you unless you lay all your cards on the line or worst you have found yourself a perfect dead girl in the swamp - all gravy and no meat. All premise and no ending.

The Happening

So why the trip back to memory lane. Well - let's just say, a rather disappointing foray into another M.Night Shyamalan territory has left me feeling oh-so-used and 180 bucks none the richer. Night has had a string of good luck for someone who is obssessed with the hyphenates. (writer slash blah slash) I mean if i were Ms. Millionaire film financier i would have stopped signing the checks after The Village bomb. He has milked all the creative juice he could squeezed from that sixth-sense brain of his and should seriously give film collaboration a second thought!

Spoiler alerts.

Let's recap.

Sixth Sense was great. Unbreakable, enjoyeable. The Signs - passable. The Village - Dreadful. Lady in the Water - Not even worth an adjective. Night seems to be sliding into an abyss of mediocrity in his attempt to pull yet another Sixth Sense. From formulaic plotlines to ridiculous dialogues - nothing seems to salvage his latest homage to himself - The Happening. A scene with Mark Walberg in his underwear perhaps? We'll never know. Instead we get Zooey Deschanel acting all annoying and doe-eyed - that for the most part i kept on wondering why the contrived need to tackle relationship drama amidts life and death scenarios here - when Night has not done his part on making us want to cheer for the hero. The film is devoid of any relevant emotions. That you are left sitting there feeling empty - i knew i should have bought a tumbler popcorn!

Beyond the horrible dialogue, the lack of believable repartee between characters and undeniably miscast actors - the last slap in the face of underestimating your audience' intelligence was the OVERUSE of tv clips - anchorman reports about "the happening" and why "the happening" is ummmm happening.

SHOW don't tell!

This might be it. The straw that finally broke the camel's back. I think the last shed of faith i have that M.Night Shymalan films could still be something worthwhile has completely evaporated. I blame the plants. I blame Philidelphia. Most of all I blame myself. I could have watched Kungfu Panda for the third time instead...

1 comment:

  1. I agree.. The happening is boring and not really worth it....

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