Last night I just watched one of the most original, highly creative movies in the longest of time: Lady in the Water. I know now why many people didn’t like this movie and turned away from it. This movie is written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan, the guy who brought us The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, Signs and The Village. All these aforementioned movies were highly successful, each one with a unique story line and a twist that completely changed your perspective of the movie.
However, with Lady in the Water, there is no twist to take you by surprise, but there is a very original and a very creative story. Cleveland Heep is the superintendent of The Cove, an apartment complex in Philadelphia. A new tenant, Mr. Farber, or 13-B, as known to others moves in, and from that day onwards Cleveland hears someone swimming at night at the pool. He finally sees that someone, who turns out to be a Narf, and her name is Story, who is actually a character from a bed time story. One of the other tenants’ mother, who is a Chinese, knows the bed time story that her mother told her, and through her we get to know the bed time story. Story, the Narf, explains to Cleveland who she is and where she came from, and what needs to be done so she can be rescued. How Cleveland gathers the right people to form the right group in order to save Story forms the crux of the movie, much to the viewer’s delight as the plot unfolds.
This is an adult fairy tale story, and it’s just that. People expect for some supernatural element to come into force, or for a powerful twist to occur to explain the bizareness of the characters, but there is none of that, and once you realize that, you get to see what a powerful fairy tale story this is. Pre credits, we get to see the basis of this fairy tale story through series of drawings, which was a stroke of genius in my opinion. The other highlight of the movie was the supporting characters, especially the Chinese girl who provided all the right laughs.
One thing that was brought out from this movie was the under lying theme of “our purpose in this world,” and as one of the characters says it, “one of the greatest thing one can know is one’s purpose in this world.” I thought that was a beautiful, because everyone in this world wants to know their purpose, what role they play, and once they know their purpose in this world, their life takes on a whole new meaning. The movie can get a bit slow for those who are expecting this movie to be like the earlier ones. To them I would say, go with an open and clear mind, and take this movie as it comes. Don’t sit there trying to figure out what happens next, or to explain the events in your head.
This is a bed time story Shyamalan told his two daughters (now made into a movie) and we should listen this adult fairy tale story as told by him, just like you would listen to bed time stories told to you by your parents or grandparents.