Lady in the Water

My wife, daughter and I saw the movie Lady in the Water, directed by M. Night Shyamalan, last night. Briefly I thought it was brilliant. With respectful disagreement with Ian Clary’s views of the movie—“Water Not Too Deep”—I am not sure where he found each of the following in the movie: “Buddhism, existentialism, postmodernism, etc. I even caught of hint of Heidegger’s dasein.” Postmodernism, to be sure, with the fascination with spirituality—certainly vague and somewhat confused—but “Heidegger’s dasein”? And existentialism, which Ian mistakenly equates with the absurd, I am not sure was anywhere to be found. Unless the five smokers were existentialists—or were they simply comic relief? I would agree with Ian that the acting was very good and the “directing was spot on and the camera angles were classic Shyamalan.” But when he complains that “the invented terminology was too cheesy,” I would hasten to note that it was, after all, a bedtime story—hence the names, “narf,” “scrunt,” etc. Ian was also critical of the “mediocre story line” that was all “too typical,” and complained about the high level of “suspension of disbelief.” The latter was no higher than in LOTR or Narnia—by the way LOTR is not an allegory. And as for the story line, I found it intriguing and kept waiting for some sort of “natural explanation” as in Shyamalan’s The Village. The story did draw me in and kept me on the edge of my seat at times. And it succeeded in evoking a sense of wonder and joy in the ending, which C.S. Lewis would have said qualified it for a good read (or in this case, a good view).

There were also some great lines—redolent of postmodern spirituality—such as Mr. Leeds’ “Does man deserve to be saved?” Shyamalan certainly believes he should be—hence Cleveland’s last line to Story, thanking her for saving him.

All in all, an excellent film.