Lady in the Water

M. Night Shyamalan's newest movie Lady in the Water is completely misguided. The movie looks good, thanks to cinematographer Christopher Doyle, and the acting is pretty good, especially Paul Giamatti as the apartment caretaker who find a sea nymph in a swimming pool. The movie is based around the apartment complex being the site for a conflict between the narf (not Pinky's exclamation, but the sea nymph) and a scrat (not the creature from Ice Age, but a wolf that can look like a lawn), with residents taking on roles like "the Healer," "The Guild," etc. The problem is that the myth scenario presented in the movie fails in the details and even fails to meet the minimum requirement of being a myth.

Is this another Ring movie?

The only source of information the characters have on the myth they're trying to fulfill is a Korean woman, who heard it as a bedtime story, and that doesn't make sense when you consider that words like "narf" and "scrat" aren't vaguely Korean words. The myth itself is a hodge-podge of elements that don't go really go together or explain anything, and that's why this isn't really a myth. The central reason a myth exists is to explain something, be it the origin of a family, or why geological feature is the way it is, or why evil exists. Lady in the Water's mythology doesn't explain anything. If you want to see this same story done right check out Neverwhere, the TV series (and novel) written by Neil Gaiman. The plot is exactly the same (unassuming guy finds a helpless woman who is sought after by supernatural forces) but Gaiman roots his story in a consistent and clever mythology based on London.

Posted: Sun - July 23, 2006 at