Daily Archives: May 14, 2022

Cinema Saturday, 5/14/22

Old

Year: 2021
Runtime: 1h 48m
Rated: PG-13

Director: M. Night Shyamalan

Writers: M. Night Shyamalan, Pierre-Oscar Lévy, Frederik Peeters

Stars: Gael García Bernal, Vicky Krieps, Rufus Sewell

Double Feature Fodder:
Unbreakable (2000)

Initial: I’ve not heard good things about this movie, but I want to give M. Night Shyamalan a fair shake. And it’s available on a streaming service I’m already paying for.

Production Notes: Though shot in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, none of the cast or crew tested positive during filming.

What Did I Think:
You know, I kinda liked this film.

There are things that I generally like about Shyamalan’s movies. He’s a visually interesting film-maker, choosing to work with very talented cinematographers. Old is full on weird angles, close-ups, and panoramic wide shots. The composition of shots does as much story-telling as the dialog in this movie, maybe more considering some of the clunky lines.

He also makes ambitious movies, using ambitious stories. More or less, Old deals with epic themes of aging and death, but is also a “bottle episode,” using mostly one locale and the same handful of characters. Does he pull it all off? Not really, but it’s not a bad effort.

Is the “science” good? No. Will you get tired of the psychologist character saying that everyone should stop and talk about it? Yes. Will you wonder why one character doesn’t just die of tetanus or why a couple characters swim through a tunnel of choral and aren’t totally cut up? Maybe.

But the movie is beautiful and there are a few moments of squicky body horror. I’ve seen better and worse; Shyamalan’s made better and worse.