In this installment of Insightful Saturday, I’m taking a break from serious subjects and moving towards one of my favorite subjects of all time…MOVIES!
I just finished watching the movie Signs, written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan. I own the movie by the way, but you know how it is. A movie comes on that you’ve seen a billion times and own it as well, yet you still have to watch it every time it comes on. Anyway, I digress.
Watching Signs reminded me just how much I love the majority of Night’s movies. I feel bad for him because he’s gotten such a bad rap. The Sixth Sense was such a phenomenon that every movie he wrote and directed after was measured by it. Was The Sixth Sense freaking incredible? Yes. Did it nearly make you poop your pants? Yep. Did it shock the living daylights out of you in the end? Fo sho! But let me tell you, if you forget all about that first movie and judge each of his other films based on their own merit, maybe people would think differently. And that’s what this blog post is about.
I loved this movie! In the nutshell, it was a movie about if superheroes actually existed. What’s not to love?! It was intriguing and drew me in. Several parts literally had me on the edge of my seat. And the way he wove the story. Suspense, romance, and heart.
I can’t even say how much I adore this movie. He took a story about losing faith in God and combined it with a dang sci-fi alien takeover-over-the-world movie. Whaaa?!?! And since I’m a firm believer in signs, it appealed to me that much more. Yes, maybe he took his time weaving the story, but that’s what’s so great about it. He gave you little morsels to keep you interested. And then he interjected so much humor, I was constantly laughing. Joaquin Phoenix was a comedic genius in it! And paired with Mel Gibson’s character’s dry demeanor, it was perfection. Even the kids cracked me up. It was so touching in so many ways as well, and then it scared the bejesus out of me too.
Sooooo many people hated this movie. Why?! Again, M. Night wove a suspenseful story. And the spin he put on the end had my mouth hanging up in shock. To be honest, with the amount of violence and cruelty in the world, sometimes I want to do exactly what those people did. And the moral of the story, humans are inherently violent creatures and there is no escape. Especially if someone as innocent as a mentally disabled man can commit violence.
Lady in the Water
Another one of my favorites! First, M. Night got the brilliant Paul Giamatti for the lead role. For whatever reason, when that man talks, you listen. This movie was created from a bedtime story M. told his children every night. And that’s exactly what it was. A fairy tale in the middle of the regular lives of this man and the tenants of the apartment building. It was so funny. Young-Soon, her mother, and Reggie were hilarious characters. Cleveland’s story and his defeated personality were heart-breaking. And that damn Scrunt was scary as hell! Watching Lady in the Water made me feel like a kid again. Which I think might have been the point.
This was my least favorite, but I honestly think that’s only because everybody and their mama had been badmouthing his movies for so long, it had finally seeped into my psyche. I’d have to go back and rewatch it, to be sure. But I still loved, in my opinion, his genius take on how the Earth would react to our brutal treatment of the planet.
I have not seen the rest of his films in their entirety, because I feel like he was trying to step away from the storytelling I was used to and so fond of. The Last Airbender, I have no idea what the cartoon was like, so I can’t fairly judge how good or bad the movie was. After Earth, I just never got into. And my evil parents left me to go see The Visit. I need to rectify that situation soon, I just didn’t want to watch it by myself. Teehee!
Basically, from one storyteller to another, I love his form of storytelling. He takes these ideas. Some fantastical. Some normal everyday life. And then creates these unique stories around them. Many scary. Most touching, in some way. Even the movie Devil that he didn’t fully write or direct. He just came up with the idea and let someone else build from it. That movie had me rethinking my behavior and thinking about going back to church. As well as pooping my pants with fear.
To me, what makes a great movie is when it creates a discussion after. When it makes your mind whirl. When it makes you reevaluate your life and your beliefs. And to me M. Night Shyamalan has done that time and time again.
***I do not own the rights to the photographs. They are the sole rights of their owner.***