Old movie, but I wanted to take it up since M. Night has been bashed a lot for his latest works.
I just saw Lady in the Water by "accident". I've seen a lot of his movies and I really enjoy them, because usually he's got a great cast, great music and a story that leaves you staring at the credits like you just got hit by something hard. Having heard a lot of negative reviews over this movie, I surfed the channels and finally came across it a couple of hours ago. Since then I've come to two conclusions:
1. Movie critics are just people with opinions.
2. Lady in the Water isn't a bad movie.
Really, it's got it all. Maybe one might eye M. Night's own role as somewhat corny, considering he plays the writer who supposedly releases a piece of literature that causes the world of take a change for the better. Apparently, every critic out there (save a few) couldn't get past this. They spend most of their reviews bashing M. Night for playing that role, calling the movie arrogant and holier-than-thou. I can't help but wonder how they would have reacted if someone else had played that character.
I think I know why M. Night himself played the role, though. Not because he's arrogant, but because he identifies himself with that person. The person who is willing to sacrifice everything to make the world better through his work. If you notice a trend in M. Night's movies, it's usually about purpose in life, how to make the world a better place and good versus evil. As for acting, he did a very good job, so I don't know what the hell those critics have been smoking. I'm assuming they just got pissed because the movie critic character is killed off in the movie and then they never got over it.
The movie enthralled me. It starts out as a modern almost-thriller, but ends up becoming a fairytale in modern time. The acting is first class, Giamatti being excellent like always and Bryce being just smoking hot with her red hair and silky skin, but also very innocent in our world. The only thing that might seem a little fake is how easily all the various characters accept the entire story about Bryce being a water nymph and all, but according to the story, they're all drawn there unknowingly, so perhaps that instinct made them able to accept it much faster than a "normal" person.
I really can't put a finger on anything directly bad about this movie, so it's got to be the most underrated M. Night movie I've ever seen (haven't seen The Village yet). There's not a lot of gore (if any at all) as the only death happens off-screen. There's no nudity, except for Bryce being naked in the shower, though nothing is shown and it's all within the story, so it's not like he slapped a lot of blood and sex in there like 90% of all other directors.
If anyone else has seen the movie and would like to comment on it or anything I've said, feel free. I'd like to hear if I'm just crazy, or if he's not as bad a director as the US movie critics would like us to believe.
And seriously, that soundtrack, especially the end scene... coupled with the overall very climactic and bittersweet ending, it was really emotional. Loved it.
Edited, Aug 8th 2010 5:15am by Mazra