Gael García Bernal, Vicky Krieps, Rufus Sewell, Alex Wolff
M. Night Shyamalan
M. Night Shyamalan, Pierre-Oscar Lévy, Frederick Peeters
M. Night, why? Why?!
In ‘Old’, A family on a tropical holiday discovers that the secluded beach where they are staying is somehow causing them to age rapidly, reducing their entire lives into a single day. What could be causing this to happen is unknown, and the island is preventing them from leaving. Will the families be able to get back in time or turn into dust along the shore?
I’ve been in M. Night Shyamalan’s corner since his return to form with ‘The visit’, and completing his ‘Unbreakable’ trilogy with ‘Split’ and ‘Glass’. Going into this, I was somewhat teased on twitter that this film could be another relapse back into the mediocre or even bafflingly comedic flops like ‘The Last Airbender’, and more specifically referenced, ‘The Happening’.
My drunk movie review of ‘The Happening’ can tell you my thoughts there, but going into ‘Old’ with that in mind, I can confirm that not only has there been a rapid deterioration not of the films characters, but of M. Night Shyamalan’s ability to adapt anything to the big screen.
The films dialogue is laughably bad throughout. It feels like the dialogue was written by a google AI machine learning program that took all of Shyamalan’s scripts and regurgitated complete nonsense. Same might be said for the plot, that quickly lost my theater when we start to see where the films going.
You’ve seen in the trailers the kids aging, but you haven’t seen the overt sexualization of the female characters, paired with one of the most offensive scenes I think we’ve ever seen M. Night film. Much like in ‘The Happening’, the characters are incredibly 2-dimensional. None of their actions, or inactions to the death, mystery, and violence of the beach ever made complete sense even when the film wrapped up.
The other issue is in the films wrap up actually. It’s likely the longest explanation of a twist we’ve gotten from M. Night Shyamalan, and it never seems to end. Sure, the concepts and ideas in this are very unique and creative. Unfortunately, that credit belongs to the graphic novel ‘Sandcastle’, which ‘Old’ is adapted from.
Which brings me to my point. M. Night Shyamalan cannot make a good film adaptation. The next film’s story and the ones moving forward should be straight from M. Night’s mind, or collaborated with whomever he wants to. But it’s gotta be his, cause any creator getting a call from a studio that they are considering an adaptation with M. Night at the helm should run.
Overall, ‘Old’ was a nightmarish hellscape of a film adaptation. Funny by accident? Sure. Offensively lazy camerawork and a lack of strong dialogue make this a big step back from a director I’ve seriously been rooting for.