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The Blue World
on October 31, 2006
Now that all the negative press, the poor box office, the stories about why Shyamalan moved this film to Warner Bros, the stories about Shyamalan's supposed meglomania has died down a bit, it was time to see "Lady in the Water."
I am a big fan of Shyamalan's work particularly "The Village." Most of his films have been box office successes until this one and though "LITW" definitely has some problems: the plot is too complicated and the storyline too convoluted, overall it is very thoughtful,persuasive and touching...very much a fairy tale, very much a personal, emotionally available film from Shyamalan.
For many, all this business about the Blue World, the Narf (a resplendent, totally believable, vulnerable Bryce Howard as Story), the green creature whose goal it is to kill her, etc, etc. is negligible at best and silly and off-putting at worst but there is also no doubt that Shyamalan is committed to this material, casts it perfectly (Paul Giamatti as the man who protects, discovers and leads Story's return to the Blue World, the excellent Jeffrey Wright as a crossword puzzle addict whose son holds the key to Story's return) and films it with obvious delight and love.
"Lady in the Water" is not a great film nor is it Shyamalan's best: what it is, is a charming little film about our need for home and the comforts derived therein. Shyamalan also has the sense to steal from the very best: in this case "The Wizard of Oz" and his take on this material, as usual is pristine, his moviemaking above reproach.