LADY IN THE
WATER (WIDESCREEN EDITION) (2006)
Lady in the Water (Widescreen Edition) (2006)
Actors: Paul Giamatti, Bryce Dallas Howard, Jeffrey Wright, Bob
Balaban, Sarita Choudhury
Directors: M. Night Shyamalan
Format: AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, Subtitled,
Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only)
Number of discs: 1
- Available Subtitles:
English, Spanish, French
- Available Audio
Tracks: English (Dolby Digital 5.1 EX), French (Dolby Digital 5.1 EX),
Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1 EX)
- "Lady in the Water: A
Bedtime Story" featurette
- "Reflections of Lady
in the Water" 6-part documentary
- Deleted Scenes
- Gag Reel
Lady in the Water is the latest effort by director M. Night Shyamalan of
Sixth Sense and Signs fame.
It is about a sad sack janitor (Paul Giamatti, Sideways) discovering a sea
nymph (Bryce Dallas Howard) in his apartment's swimming pool late one night
and having to protect her from a vicious wolf-like creature made of grass
(no, the type you mow) that is intent on killing her.
The film was critically much-maligned upon its theatrical release; some of
the critical drubbing was probably prompted by the movie featuring an
emotionally reticent film critic character played by Bob Balaban who gets
killed off sadistically
- something which probably
didn't go down well with
However to be fair, while the movie is more interesting and original than,
let's say the latest movie based on a computer game featuring vampire
slayers, Lady in the Water remains a seriously flawed effort at best.
The film's plot originated as a bedtime story Shyamalan told his children,
and as an archetypal fairy tale it probably works. High on talk-heavy
exposition and low on actual scares and thrills, it doesn't exactly work
well as a movie.
It also skirts logic issues; for instance, the janitor takes little
convincing to believe that Howard is indeed a mythical sea creature and he
manages to convince his fellow apartment block inhabitants of the same
The wolf-like creature we are meant to dread and fear also seems pretty . .
. well, incompetent. It has several opportunities to kill Howard but simply
fails to do so. And so on.
The biggest problem is that the script feels unfinished. Maybe if a talented
fantasy writer such as Neil Gaiman had a go at it, Lady in the Water would
have turned out rather differently. Things feel a bit half-baked and rushed
Part of the problem is that Shyamalan isn't talented enough of a director to
make the inherently flawed (and did we mention occasionally silly?)
screenplay work. His previous films such as Signs and
The Village were
hamstrung by silly plot contrivances (such the aqua-phobic aliens in Signs
invading a planet consisting mostly of water). However, Signs for instance
had some pretty scary moments that worked nonetheless. Lady in the Water
never manages that equilibrium: the dumb bits simply outweigh the good ones.
WORTH IT? It would have been an interesting movie if Shyamalan's ego
didn't get in the way and he handed over his screenplay to someone else for
RECOMMENDATION: A discount rental at best.