Writer-Director M. Night Shyamalan's New Film Starring Mark Wahlberg
(The Happening is happening)
The knives had been out and sharpened long before M. Night Shyamalan’s latest movie, “The Happening,” opened on Friday. A fine craftsman with aspirations to the canon, this would-be auteur has, in the last few years, experienced a sensational fall from critical and commercial grace, partly through his own doing — by making bad movies and then, even after those movies failed, by continuing to feed his ego publicly — and partly through the entertainment media that, once they smell weakness, will always bite the hand they once slathered in drool.
Since the release of The Sixth Sense, Writer-Director M. Night Shyamalan has developed a knack for delivering warped, original films that get people talking. His trademark plot twists have both angered and delighted audiences.
While his last film Lady in the Water sank like a lead weight, his new film The Happening shows a director on the creative rebound. Love it or hate it, The Happening doesn’t leave room for indifference.The Happening in Central Park-- The Happening stars Mark Wahlberg as nerdy science teacher Elliot Moore who, along with his quirky wife Alma Moore (Zooey Deschanel), who has been having dessert dates with an unseen co-worker named Joey, is forced to flee New York or face imminent death.
A strange toxin spreads throughout New England, stemming from New York’s Central Park. First deemed an act of terrorism, the gas, or whatever has been unleashed, causes disorientation in its first stage, immediate death follows. The oddest thing about this poisonous gas is that it makes people kill themselves.
From the first graphic scenes, it becomes clear that The Happening differs from the rest of M. Night Shyamalan’s films. While he continues to use the element of surprise effectively, the images shown in this movie become increasingly interesting and make you to stick to your seats.
The movie has a boosting moment when it is revealed (or at least speculated upon) that the cause of the mysterious killer gas doesn’t come from a terrorist organization at all but rather plants and nature. These aren’t the kind of killer plants found in The Ruins, but regular trees and grass and dandelions that have decided that humans are a threat to their survival and have ‘communicated’ with one another to bond and exterminate the human race.
The Happening becomes more gripping with its overuse of scenes depicting wind flowing through trees, meant to show how the toxins are being spread .
The movie gets a jolt of bizarreness when Elliot and Alma find solace in an abandoned cabin inhabited by a crazy lady who invites them in, then begrudges their staying, accusing them of wanting to steal her stuff. From this point the movie turns into a mini, yet fascinating, haunted house story that ends all too quickly, as does the rest of the movie.
Trapped in the house as the killer wind blows through, Elliot and Alma come to grips with their mortality and reunite to die as a couple. The wind dies down and nothing happens.
Fast forward three months and Alma is pregnant. A television in the background warns that the events three months prior are the first signs that the planet is rejecting the human species. The host disagrees, saying that if this theory were true, events such as the ones experienced in the American Northeast would be occurring elsewhere.
Cut to Paris, France…Many movie goers will grumble about the lack of a twist at the end of this movie, others will roll their eyes at the killer being nature. But in the end, this movie is fascinating to watch, evenly passed, both dramatic and humorous with some wonderful and over-the-top-effects.
--A Must Watch (One of the best movies of recent times)