M. Night Shyamalan’s Old : Film Review
Landing somewhere between The event Y The village on the Shyamalanometer of Narrative Tricks, M. Night Shyamalan Old he places a dozen travelers together on a remote beach and then watches them live the rest of their lives in one day. Faced with a strange phenomenon that greatly accelerates the aging process, strangers must collaborate in search of an escape even as time worsens their deficiencies and the director struggles (with ostentatious camera movement and dazzling landscapes) to prevent the images. things feel like a Twilight Zone morality game.
Viewers who can take it at face value may find a chill or two here, but in the end Old it cannot escape the clumsiness of its premise long enough to successfully expose its more poetic possibilities.
The bottom line
Fight to overcome your inherent stupidity.
Gael García Bernal and Vicky Krieps play Guy and Prisca, parents who want to take their children Trent and Maddox (Nolan River and Alexa Swinton) on a nice vacation before breaking the news that they are separating. However, their fight is no secret: Mom and Dad fight to relax and enjoy a moment, even in a tropical paradise where cocktails are made to suit your taste.
Seeming to intuit his needs, the resort manager quietly confesses that he has an especially beautiful and secluded location that he only recommends to guests he really likes. So what if you send some other guests to the same place as well, and the driver taking them there (Shyamalan) can’t wait to get back to the van and leave the place? Soon our heroes and a couple of other groups settle on a pristine stretch of sand with waves crashing at their feet and a large rugged rock wall rising behind them. Then they find the corpse.
The dead woman was friends with a famous rapper (Aaron Pierre) who was already on the beach when these guys arrived. A doctor (Rufus Sewell) is pretty quick to accuse the black man of foul play, and Guy (along with a no-nonsense nurse played by Ken Leung) has trouble keeping their confrontation from spiraling out of control. By the time things are almost calm, the children are five years older. And every time someone tries to run back onto the road for help, they become disoriented in the hallway through the rock and end up passed out, back on the beach.
In the kind of scene familiar to viewers of genre images, Old Desperately, a character guesses what is happening in the hope that the audience will buy it and follow the game: surely, Leung’s nurse deduces, there is a strange deposit of minerals in the huge rock wall that somehow affects the speed of cell growth in our bodies. Based on how quickly the kids (and the doctor’s daughter) develop, it seems like we age two years for every hour we’re here. If we don’t get off this beach, most of us will die of old age tomorrow morning!
Or before. Several vacationers have conditions that, once accelerated, present sometimes disturbing threats to themselves or others. Anxieties are predictably high and a capable cast handles the weirdness of the stage to the best of their ability. Special credit goes to Alex Wolff and Thomasin McKenzie, who step in to play Trent and Maddox in their teens and thus have the added burden of imagining what it’s like to go from prepubescent to young adulthood in a matter of minutes.
Long before it reaches its signature twisted ending (not bad, this time), Shyamalan uses his sci-fi premise to deliver some predictable ironies. Any viewer will guess how quickly aging will treat the doctor’s trophy wife (Abbey Lee). But those familiar with the director’s beloved Philadelphia and its fascinating Mütter museum of medical oddities may resent a plot point that surely inspired the museum: Revealing nothing, a harrowing exhibition there tells a true story of deformity that transforms into A grotesque cartoon here – a visual joke that may be the last straw for viewers struggling to take the sometimes awkward script seriously.
Rod Serling’s ironies aside, the film finally offers satisfying answers to a question or two that we had given up hope of answering. But doing so requires returning to a familiar genre mode after a quiet sequence in which things could have ended, almost happily, in a very different frame of mind. We are all stuck on a rock, aging too fast, dealing with unreasonable neighbors. Maybe we should just watch the waves and enjoy the company of our loved ones for the time we have left?