M. Night Fans

Understanding Shyamalan’s ‘Lady In The Water’

Once man and in those in the water were linked. They inspired us. They spoke of the future. Man listened and it became real, but man does not listen very well. Man’s need to own everything led him deeper into the land. The magic world of the ones that lived in the ocean and the world of man separated. Through the centuries their world and all the inhabitants of it stopped trying. The world of man became more violent. War upon war played out. As there were no guides to listen to… Now those in the water are trying again. Trying to reach us. A handful of their precious young ones were sent into the world of man… They need only be glimpsed and the awakening of man will happen, but their enemies roam the land. There are laws that meant to keep the young ones safe, but they are sent at great risk to their lives. Many do not return, yet still they try…. Try to help man, but man may have forgotten how to listen.

These are the first lines once the film Lady In The Water begins. A film written and directed by Mr. M.Night Shyamalan, based on a bedtime story he used to tell his daughters. Shyamalan as a writer and director could put the words about “man may have forgotten how to listen” at the end of his film, yet he chose to put it in the beginning. He put it in the beginning of his film so man can listen and comprehend the meaning of what’s the film about and to undertand the moral of his bedtime story.

Lady In The Water is a fantasy film released in 2006 and received some unfavorable reviews from the film critics. They didn’t only trashed the film, but they disrespected M.Night Shyamalan as well. Not only the film critics are the ones who I like to blame, but some audiences as well are to blame. I understand that everyone is entitled to their opinion, but let’s not forget what the film is about. This is one of the main reasons I am writing this, for I have been hearing things whenever a discussion takes place about this film. Some claim that it is a stupid film. Didn’t made any sense. And some claim that they liked the story and didn’t like how Shyamalan portrayed himself through out the film as a writer whose book is going to change the world. Someone will read it and will become the leader.

This project was Shyamalan’s riskiest move as a filmmaker. “The Man Who Heard Voices or How M.Night Shyamalan risked his life on a fairy tale,” written by Michael Bamberger was published after M.Night Shyamalan’s departure with Disney. This film was originally set up at Disney, M.Night Shyamalan departed from the studio over “creative differences”, and brought it to Warner Bros.

I have been thinking to write something about this film for over three years, but it’s the time that never gave me the permission to write.  I am trying to bring the spotlight mainly on the moral of the story to those who doesn’t listen or repudiates to listen. Please do not find this irreverent. I am aware that there are those who perceive the moral. See, if you watch films with an open mind and heart you get the point and you will understand the moral of the story. It can be an action, drama, adventure or fantasy anything. A filmmaker like Shyamalan brings meaning to his films as well. Every M.Night Shyamalan film in a way is unique. And his purpose in this world as a writer and director is not only to entertain, but to teach something valuable about religion, fate, love, life and purpose.

I don’t find anything obtuse about his writing, because as an aspiring screenwriter I sit and write what I feel and what I learn from life. No one can stop me from writing and no one can stop Shyamalan from writing and directing what he wants to tell, for he knows deep in his heart and mind that the story he is telling is important to others because it is important to him. Lady In The Water is a simple story. A fairy tale about a man name Cleveland Heep, a maintenance man who discovers a young woman in the swimming pool of his apartment complex. Gradually, he and his neighbors learns that she is a sea nymph whose life is in danger from a vicious, wolf-like, mystical creature that tries to keep her from returning to her home, blue world.

In this film, Shyamalan is trying to tell us that we are all connected. These are the exact  words of “Story” in the film. Meaning that we are  all on the same boat and this fairy tale also provides a message about purpose. We all have a purpose in this world. All of us has something important to do and due to these unfavorable reviews many didn’t see the film. Lady In The Water deserves to be viewed with an open heart.

There are plenty of good films and bad films that I can write a list about. Some are huge projects and some are simple like Lady In The Water. A simple and beautiful fairy tale written by a man with heart. It is an important film not because I am a Shyamalan fan or because you are reading this on his largest fansite on the net today. It is important because it carries a message that wakes the inner human. It’s an introduction of yourself to yourself.

It angered the critics because Shyamalan is pointing his finger at them in a way in this film. And what you have read and what you have heard about this film negatively is wrong. Yes, I would make some changes here and there if I would be the director, but again if you think about it every artist has his or her own unique artistic stroke. Overall, Lady In The Water is a film with heart. A daring film, a daring tale. It is important for us. I have always been and always will defend a film like Lady In The Water because it tells us something about life. It is that prescription written to heal the world. Our world still needs to be healed. We are the young ones who can fix it. Let us not forget who we are. We are all connected regardless of race, religion and culture. We can make that difference not only through films, but through any kind of field. We can listen. Continue to listen and let’s not forget how to listen.