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Not Prince Hamlet

"Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse."

Slate on Shyamalan

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Ross Douthat has a great piece about M. Night Shyamalan up right now. It's partly about the disappointing reception of "Lady in The Water," and partly about the soon-to-be-released book that chronicled the director's efforts to get the film made (The Man Who Heard Voices: Or, How M. Night Shyamalan Risked His Career on a Fairy Tale). But mostly the piece is about Shyamalan himself, his grandiose intentions and his heavily-scrutinized missteps. It's good reading. Here's a money quote:

    Shyamalan deserves credit, despite his vanity and his missteps—not
        because he's succeeding, necessarily, but because he's willing to keep
    trying and unwilling to take his place with those timid, highly
                        compensated directors who know neither victory nor defeat.

And that's why NPH will continue to champion Shyamalan and his movies. Despite the discomfiting emergence of his pretensions (note: his expanding roles in his own movies--this time as a struggling writer who's told that he will be killed for his painfully truthful ideas; also the role in "Lady . . ." of the glib film critic who's too cynical to see the real story and who, in the end, pays a heavy price for his cynicism), we still love the guy.

And "Lady in The Water" is still better than 75% of what's out there right now, and 50% of what the year will produce.

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posted by Not Prince Hamlet, 7:05 AM


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