We know M. Night Shyamalan is capable of both the best and the worst in each of his films and with as much impatience as fear we await decisively for his Old, the promise of a return to the fantastic thriller without its distractions. . So where are the scales headed this time?
Night Shyamalan is not a filmmaker to measure up to. Just look at the filmography to find nuggets (Sixth Sense, Village, Unbreakable or Marks to name a few) as many flops (After Earth, Phenomena, Glass at some points); as if he was sometimes overwhelmed by his enthusiasm and larger budget.
But he’s a director who’s always been able to bounce back, offering us in particular The Visit which almost went under the radar but succeeded in many ways, two years after the After Earth disaster. If we risk a rough cut, we could even say that ever since he stepped into the circle of expected directors, he has let every other film down. The conclusion of his trilogy of superheroes has us more than mixed up in 2019, we want to believe that Old will be a good choice.
The original idea has gone back to basics: a fantastic thriller. We followed a group of tourists enjoying a secluded beach before realizing that the weather was moving faster. Faced with their accelerated aging and a place that seems to be holding them back, they must find a solution before it’s too late.
The film lives up to its history and wastes no time, rushing as Olive and Tom get to the point. Within minutes, we’re introduced to the main family led by the wonderful Gael Garcia Bernal and Vicky Krieps, then their future roommates in the kitchen, before starting the feud. This goal of staying focused on the essentials provides consistency and overall rhythm for Old, which is valued at its true value. However, it will not be achieved without sacrifices in the process, especially regarding character.
As such, our family suffers from a simplistic and roughly supported characterization, which entitles us to certain month aftershocks in dealing with the situation. As for other guests, their profile can be summarized in a maximum of three words. As much as we are caught up in events, the fate of the protagonists in the end means little to us.
A problem that we fix easily because it fits, as we said, perfectly in its intended purpose. Old has its logic and if we sometimes grit our teeth, we close our eyes and walk. Until M. Night Shyamalan, after completing his mission, restarts one of his famous awkward impulses during his epilogue. Obviously, we’re not going to reveal anything to you about the events, but it almost feels like watching a completely different film where the clean side of the story gives way to awkward overexplanation and where the director seems to incorporate endings, like he’s not. can sacrifice none in editing. A break in the rhythm that left us with a slight sense of extravagance in the final credits, the ones we’ve beaten so far.
Because if we get rid of this final, Old original black spots, the others are very effective! More than a fantastic director, Mr. Night Shyamalan is above all a mood maker. He has the art of turning heavenly shores into oppressive nightmares in just a few shots.
Without getting lost in the stylistic effects, the filmmaker evokes fear off-screen; almost refuses to indulge in gruesome imagery, with rare exceptions, only to prove that it can create a close-up sensation on a frightened face. Old is not a horror film, it is a film of anxiety that we cannot let go of. All of them are unhealthy, sad, and charming at the same time. A perfect example of a simple concept brought to screen with surgical precision, formidable efficiency, during most operations. If we don’t find the same spirit there, Old reminds us that M. Night Shyamalan is the director of Sixth Sense, Village, Sign. A director who doesn’t forget to put humans at the center of his fantastic story,
A director who also knows how to play the concept to offer us some great ideas, at the turn of the sentence, a scene, encouraging us to keep remembering this time that has passed. A reel that is also appreciated on casting with a huge make-up job. This is the entire life cycle that unfolds in less than two hours on the faces and bodies of these “prisoners”. What bathes us completely in this atmosphereso special and (almost) so successful.