Wednesday, July 26, 2006

 

Maganda ang Lady in the Water.

1:45 AM. Ilang days nang napupuno ko lang ng mga blog ideas ang Outbox ng cellphone ko pero kinukulang naman sa inspirasyon to actually flesh them out. Pero moments after mapanood ang latest masterpiece ni M. Night Shyamalan na Lady in the Water heto ako’t parang nasa writing nirvana: ‘di makapaghintay makauwi para makapag-blog, hindi makatulog sa dami ng mga ideas na nagfa-flood sa’king utak; ang dami kong gustong sabihin tungkol sa film pero hindi ko alam kung paano sila i-organize at natatakot ako na baka may makalimutan ako! Shet! Ang intense!!!

Tulad ng maraming kakilala, trailer pa lang naintriga na’ko’t napaabang sa movie na’to. Pero hindi ganu’n kaganda ang reaksyon ng mga taong unang nakapanood. “Don’t expect too much. It’s a bedtime story.” “Don’t analyze it anymore,” sabi pa ng isa. Well, mukhang ganyan naman lagi ang reaksyon sa mga pelikula ni Shyamalan. Parang after the Oscar-nominated Sixth Sense, hindi na niya na-meet ang expectations ng marami. Konti na lang ang naka-appreciate sa Unbreakable, Signs, at The Village. Pero ako, I love them all. Magaling talagang magsulat si M. Night Shyamalan! Idol ko siya!

Ang daming layers ng pelikulang “The Lady in the Water” so I have to disagree with my friends who warned me about it being just a bedtime story, and that it does not call for thorough analysis. As a writer, nai-imagine ko na puwedeng ipapanood sa isang writing class ang pelikula pero hindi bilang isang fine example ng good writing kundi bilang isang blatant handbook on plot development, characterization, at criticism. And blatant in a good way, ha.

(O, may spoilers na dito) “Story” ang pangalan ng mythical lady in the water. Du’n pa lang kita mo nang sinadya rin talaga siyang maging parang scriptwriting manula. Ang tunay na pagkatao ni Story ay natutuklasan unti-uti nu’ng handyman na si Cleveland sa pamamagitan ng mga bedtime stories ng isang Chinese tenant sa building na mine-maintain niya. (By the way, Paul Giamatti’s performance as Cleveland urged me to see “Sideways” very soon.) Mero pang tenant na film critic na siyang nagbibigay ng lectures on certain scriptwriting techniques (which the film critic laments is becoming overused kaya nga sabi niya “nothing is original anymore”). Mararamdaman mo rin ang buwelta ni Shyamalan sa mga kritiko niya du’n sa part kung saan mari-realize nu’ng handyman na mali ‘yung film critic whose statements were based on certain formulas used in writing scripts. “But he sounded so sure,” pagtataka ni Cleveland. Sagot ng isa, “What kind of an arrogant person would assume that he knows the thoughts of another man?” ‘Di ba?! Parang pinapatamaan ang mga taong nanonood ng mga Shyamalan films with the sole aim of predicting the twist in the end so they could have this smug look on their faces na parang sila na ang pinakamatalinong tao sa mundo. But then again, arrogance din yatang na ina-assume ko ang intentions ni Shyamalan du’n sa particular scene na’yon.

Basta ang maganda sa Lady in the Water is its capacity to be simple despite its profundity.

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