M. Night Shyamalan’s Old: Twelve against time

Dag Sødtholt wrote a piece analyzing Night’s new film Old. Here’s the start of that article. You can read the full analysis at the link below.

Each human being is a separate universe. Personality and identity form its core and are drawn upon in a crisis. Respectable occupations are shorthand statements about what has been achieved in life and are used to impress upon others that one is to be reckoned with and can be trusted to lead.

Like Kevin Crumb of Split and Glass comprised multiple personalities, all defined by a basic trait, divided into factions striving for dominance and leadership, Old (2021) projects this set-up unto individuals of flesh and blood. An important subject in M. Night Shyamalan‘s new film is how its twelve tourists, as if a human clock face, are not only trapped on a beach where ageing and thus subjective time are abnormally accelerated, but also trapped inside their separate identities and concerns, making it hard for them to efficiently co-operate and fully empathise with each other.

Instead they cling to their regular-life coping mechanisms. But the doctor’s urge to dominate, the psychologist’s impulse to make people air their inner feelings, and the nurse’s belief in constructive, rational thinking – all of these turn out to be useless and time is rapidly running out. It does not matter what you have achieved in life when it storms towards inescapable death. The happiest people in Old are its central married couple, in old age facing oblivion with acceptance and simple, mutual love.

Read the rest of the article here.