Apartment building superintendent Cleveland Heep rescues what he thinks is a young woman from the pool he maintains. When he discovers that she is actually a character from a bedtime story who is trying to make the journey back to her home, he works with his tenants to protect his new friend from the creatures that are determined to keep her in our world.
Cleveland Heep, a stuttering apartment superintendent, encounters a girl named Story swimming in the complex's pool. He soon learns that she comes from the Blue World, and has a message for mankind. Will he be able to help her complete her mission? Written by
M. Night Shyamalan: [Pennsylvania] Shyamalan demanded that the set be within 45 minutes of his Pennsylvania home. He timed the trip which took 43 minutes. See more »
(at around 28 mins) The black floor lamp in the smokers apartment changes position between shots based on perspective. See more »
Once, man and those in the water were linked. They inspired us. They spoke of the future. Man listened and it became real. But man does not listen very well. Man's need to own everything led him deeper into land. The magic world of the ones that live in the ocean, and the world of men, separated. Through the centuries their world, and all the inhabitants of it stopped trying. The world of man become more violent. War upon war played out, as there were no guides to listen...
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After the movie has ended, and all of the credits have scrolled, there appears the following dedication from M. Night Shyamalan: "To my daughters, I'll tell you this story one more time. But then go to bed." See more »
When I go to see a Shyamalan film, I expect to be entertained and stimulated, but I never know exactly how this will be accomplished. Shyamalan's films use ambiguity aesthetically and he draws his audience through the seduction of interpretive participation. Of all of his films, perhaps Lady in the Water does this most profoundly. Although I understood the entire film - the plot, the themes, the method - I walked away asking "what the hell did I just see?" It's easy enough to categorize the film. Lady in the Water is an absurdist comedy. But it makes you ask yourself why you are laughing. With Shyamalan's talent as it is, it is impossible for me to believe that any aspect of the humor of this film was unintentional. Yet the other side of LITW is dark fantasy, in the tradition of Michael Cohn's Snow White.
With a cast David Lynch would have been happy with, Shyamalan tells a fable from East Asia as it is experienced by a superintendent (Giamatti) at an apartment complex full of mundanely odd characters. A strange and beautiful young woman (Howard) has emerged from the complex's pool, apparently seeking contact with the surface world so she can find folkloric archetypes who can protect her from the evil creatures that hunt her and return her to her world beneath the waves.
Giamatti, Howard, and Shyamalan himself are all very entertaining. Howard - a very unusual looking and uniquely pretty woman - is shot so beautifully that it is very difficult to take your eyes off of her. M. Night's performance is so bizarre, it is hard to tell whether or not he is acting.
LITW is definitely the strangest film I have seen from Shyamalan. I have been up and down with him since the beginning of his career, enjoying his early films, very much disliking Signs, and being impressed with the Village. I believe that with the Village and LITW, M. Night is establishing a new and unique direction for himself. And if he keeps going this way, I will gladly follow.
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