Lady in the Water

Lady in the Water ★★


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The Lady in the Water is a complicated movie. Based on this film’s Letterboxd rating and a handful of reviews I had read I went into it expecting a bad film. As strongly expected this film turned out to be a downright train wreck that’s rid with continuity errors, plot holes, and wishy washy execution. Literally every time you think it couldn’t get any more stupid the film throws some more baffling exposition making it seem even stupider. It was honestly idiotic how much exposition was being thrown at the audience, for the entire film even when there didn’t need to be any exposition it uncomfortably sits there. Sure there’s a few positive aspects holding it from a one and a half star rating but for the most part this was a straight up poor film that I’m in no rush to see again. 

The plot is bad it’s a predictable and inconsistent story. The story is very direct and consists of many large leaps in the narrative. It’s a story that could have been a simple, ten or twenty minute, story but was made into something overly complex. As I mentioned earlier the exposition was terrible especially in the way it was revealed through two Asian women swiftly giving information to the main character ever so often or when the plot demands it. The story is seemingly targeted towards children through its many comedic aspects but it mainly comes off as dark comedy because of how dim the tone is. Also was it only me or did the story have an oddly erotic feeling to it?

 The pacing is decent for the most part it’s an entertaining film that’s well paced. The acting is decent Paul Giamatti gives a decent performance. He is by far the strongest aspect of the film and even though his performance isn’t all that good he tried his best and succeeded. Bryce Dallas Howard gives a pretty boring and generic performance as the mysterious woman from the pool. Jeffery Wright, Bob Balaban, Sarria Choundhurry, Cindy Cheoung, and M. Night Shyamalan give bad supporting performances as well.

 I always enjoy Shyamalan’s cameos but giving himself such an important role was a little too much. The direction is bad from M. Night Shyamalan, I know that this film was sort of a passion project for him but almost all of his directorial choices felt like they weren’t thought out and very sloppy. I honestly don’t know what he was thinking while making this. The script is bad it’s a stale and underdeveloped but at the same time overstuffed script that didn’t show any hints of attentiveness. The cinematography is effective and decently memorable but that’s all. The production design is pretty good especially since the whole apartment complex was built for the film. The sound was noticeably off and sounded louder/more unnatural than it should have been. The ending is a rushed ending that wasn’t surprising like I expected it to be. Overall The Lady in the Water is a lousy and at times downright dumb film that’s simply bad in almost every way you look at it. 

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