OK What did I not get? **SPOILERS**


Author Topic: OK What did I not get? **SPOILERS**  (Read 1780 times)

jodylync

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OK What did I not get? **SPOILERS**
« on: July 11, 2008, 06:43:05 PM »
I saw The Happening and was truly disturbed.  Unlike his previous movies, there did not seem to me to be the internal struggle.  This movie seemed to focus all on the external.  His previous movies all had a "real" story behind the action.  But I didn't see this in The Happening.  The violent scenes were disturbing.  The suicides were horrifying and later laughable, as if some gore-loving screenwriter was saying "how else can we show people offing themselves?"  I posted on another thread about how Hollywood will take a Stephen King short story, and turn it into a full length movie.  You have one scene in the movie that is based on the short story and the rest is all extra junk that is usually not well written.  This is what this movie felt like... Like someone took a scary short story and some M Night wannabe director made it into a full length movie.  No deep characters.. just gory scenes over and over.

But maybe I am missing something.  I saw LITW when it first came out.  I thought "not bad.  It's an okay story."  Then I watched it again last weekend and sobbed the entire movie because I got the message.  Perhaps I am missing something in The Happening because I was too focused on the gore and violence. 

So can the fans of The Happening tell me what you got out of it?   ???

Wags

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Re: OK What did I not get? **SPOILERS**
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2008, 08:02:35 PM »
All right, I?ll see what I can do.  Keep in mind, though, that this is what I got out of it, but could also be what others got out of it. And everyone is more than welcome to agree/disagree/wonder where the hell I got these ideas.  I was always told that we learn vicariously through others.  And as time has passed, I have forgotten what I got out of "The Happening" by myself, and what I realized through other?s interpretations.  But here we go:

The film, to me, is primarily about relationships and communications in those relationships.  Elliot and Alma are incapable of communicating their real feelings for each other.  They try a couple of times in the movie, but they can never fully get the words out.  For example: the argument at the train station, the unemotional confession Alma makes about Joey while in the field, Elliot trying to make Alma jealous about the pharmacist, Alma trying to discuss the Joey thing in Mrs. Jones? house (where Elliot is quick to change the subject to how Alma is good at taking care of Jess).  One of the biggest moments that help show this idea is when Elliot is sitting alone on the side of the road, and Jess goes over to talk to him, and the two sit and cry together over everything as Alma stands from afar and watches them.  She is his husband, but is unable to comfort him or Jess in this time.  She doesn?t really know how. But it is only once all the ?real world? distractions are out of the way, and they are left just the two of them (and Jess) that Elliot and Alma are capable of coming together and mending their relationship.  An especially poignant moment in that scene is when the two cannot remember what color love is on the mood ring.   

Another side of this idea is the notion that sometimes actions speak louder than words.  It is said that 75% of our communications in life are non-verbal cues.  And watching this movie, you can really read into the character?s motives and attitudes through their nonverbals.  For example, the way Elliot and Alma stare at each other and make eye contact during the dinner with Mrs. Jones.  And I?m sure that everyone out there has that one significant other or that one good friend who you can have a conversation with just by looking at each other.  And this idea also solidifies that deep down, Elliot and Alma are two people who still care a lot for each other and are close.  Another example of this idea is the goodbye Elliot and Alma have with Julian.  Their words make it sound like it?s no big deal.  But it is through Elliot?s heaving of the phrase ?well you go get her and come back? and the total seriousness of ?don?t take my daughter?s hand if you don?t mean it?, that we begin to realize that they believe this could very well be the last time they will see each other again.  Which a while back is what Shyamalan said is the key idea in the film ?if you knew you were going to die, what would be the last thing you would say to your loved one??  And, fittingly enough, the last words Elliot says to Alma before going outside, potentially to die, is ?if we?re going to die, then I want to be with you. And I?m going to come over there and be with you.?  Which, in a sense, is Elliot?s way of forgiving Alma for her thing with Joey.  While going off of this idea, another idea about the nonverbal communication in the film is how as Elliot, Alma, and Jess come together at the end, no words are said.  They meet each other, take each other?s hand, and walk inside.  No words were said because no words needed to be said.  Just like as the nursery owner and his wife are about to die, they say nothing, they just take each other?s hand. 

On a lighter note, a lot of humor is expressed through hand motions and nonverbal cues in The Happening.  Like when the nursery owner says ?You like hot dogs, don?t you??  And Alma smiles real big and shakes her head no.  Or when Private Auster (the military guy) is attempting to address the crowd, he frequently says ?area of attack?, giving the idea he is not much of a public speaker. And when introducing the realtor guy, he gives a big, cheesy hand motion to usher him up, like an M.C. of a variety show.  It all just really shows how Pvt. Auster isn?t some higher up in the military or a great hero, just a low-level guy trying to make it through this event while keeping civilians safe.  But deep down, he has no idea what he is doing. 

Not to sound lazy, but that?s about all I want to write for now.  There are a ton of little things in this movie that people have picked up on, like violence?s role in the movie, nature as a living entity, etc., but this is the only theme/message of the story I have thought really long and hard about.  I hope this helps a little and, as always, I and most people on this board are willing to discuss anything.

manojrules

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Re: OK What did I not get? **SPOILERS**
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2008, 09:01:41 PM »
Wow, I never looked at it like that Wags.
But I think Shyamalan's movies are those that need to be watched more than once to completely see the beauty, significance, intensity and emotion in them. Like what you, jodylync, said about LITW. And another thing to support it is that I've seen the sixth sense many times, but first I saw it a few times, and I thought there was nothing much more than the first time. Its already a great movie, with the great ending and everything going on. Sure if you see it again you see little things, like malcolm and cole's mom just stare at each other before Cole comes, but really cole's mom is only staring into space waiting for her son, and little things supporting the ending like that. But theres a hard relationship, and many motions, also, that express so many emotions. I just got it from iTunes and watch it about twice a day along with other of shyamalan's movies, and I never, ever cry, but I really was crying, sobbing at the thick, raw emotion. just the ending alone, and the sadness on malcolm's face when he punches the window after seeing his wife with another man, but the sadness is mixed with anger, and even pain from his fist as he clutches it tightly, but his face is tight, holding back tears of anger and sadness. And just that few seconds of showing him shows so much.

So yeah, it's easy to feel like that at first, but his movies are just something to really look into sometimes.

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Re: OK What did I not get? **SPOILERS**
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2008, 04:40:35 AM »
I really like that idea of the nonverbal communication and the words behind words especially in the conversation when Julian is about to go "look for his wife". Thats my favorite scene in the movie.
But I have a different view of the story about the pharmacist..I took it as a comedic scene, yet also a serious one. He was blowing something so insignificant so out of proportion and sort of "saying" to alma, "this is how ridiculous I think this whole Joey thing is." And it's reinforced when they share that look, and then laugh about it. I think he basically was saying that there was nothing to forgive.

Again I stress this READ OTHER PEOPLE'S POSTS BEFORE POSTING A NEW THREAD.   thankyou  ;D
we have already discussed the happening in-depth elsewhere on the site. (try looking under "the happening" threads lol)
See the villain's larger eyes insinuating a just-off-normal perspective on how they see the world? I see signs Lucius Hunt; just not as you see dead people. I am so very happy we saw..each other, and no I will not tell you what color love is. Stop asking.

manojrules

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Re: OK What did I not get? **SPOILERS**
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2008, 11:51:09 AM »
I really like that idea of the nonverbal communication and the words behind words especially in the conversation when Julian is about to go "look for his wife". Thats my favorite scene in the movie.
But I have a different view of the story about the pharmacist..I took it as a comedic scene, yet also a serious one. He was blowing something so insignificant so out of proportion and sort of "saying" to alma, "this is how ridiculous I think this whole Joey thing is." And it's reinforced when they share that look, and then laugh about it. I think he basically was saying that there was nothing to forgive.

Again I stress this READ OTHER PEOPLE'S POSTS BEFORE POSTING A NEW THREAD.   thankyou  ;D
we have already discussed the happening in-depth elsewhere on the site. (try looking under "the happening" threads lol)

That's true, every scene seems to have so many different theories, emotions, and meanings. Like the mood ring scene, at first I didn't understand ,but now I think I do. Elliot and Alma didn't remember what color love was, but then Elliot changes the subject, saying he wants to be with them if he's going to die, because he doesn't want to die and his last words were not knowing what color love was, he wanted to die with his wife, and best friend's daughter. But at the same time the scene is meant to have humor, and represent the ups and downs in Elliot and Alma's relationship. Alma says, "You gave me the mood ring that day." and that represents how much the ring meant to her, and how they seemed to love each other from their first date, and they seemed to get along, Alma says, "You said it meant love, then you figured out it meant I was horny. You loved that." but that's also meant ot be funny. And then it changes quickly to serious as they can't remember what love is. So every scene has so much emotion, feeling, and meaning that you just really have to look into it. ;) Plus, who knows, after that serious scene, they seemed so serious that they didn't remember what color love was, and maybe all along the mood ring didn't even have a color for love? But anyways after I really thought about that scene, then I really realized that the movie has so many more emotions than just fear.