Criticism of Time (Old). Shyamalan delivers a taut fantasy thriller that deflates at the end

Reach the Spanish screens Weather, the new proposal of the always interesting M. Night Shyamalan. I have to admit that I have a soft spot for this director and screenwriter. Despite having screwed up several times (like the horrible After Earth I the animated series The Last Airbender) Shyamalan is a filmmaker who has won heaven thanks to The Sixth Sense, The Protected or Multiple. Now it’s time to find out if Time has hit the mark again or if on the contrary it has hit a new backfire.

The first thing to know that this movie is an adaptation of the graphic novel Sand Castle, by Pierre Oscar Levy and Frederik Peeters (2010). Shyamalan starts from the original comic book premise to go a little further and introduces us to a series of families who are spending a pleasant vacation and end up trapped on a paradisiacal beach from which they cannot leave. The protagonists end up realizing that time passes there a lot, but much, faster than abroad when they discover that children have grown several years in a short period of time. To top it off, the mobiles don’t work either and they can’t call for help.

With this argument, the graphic novel wanted the reader to reflect on human nature, leaving the phenomenon of temporal acceleration unexplained. Shyamalan starts from the same premise to offer us a harrowing thriller that has its best advantage in the effects that the characters suffer.

The family protagonist of the film

From the beginning of the film it is very clear that the passage of time is going to be the backbone of the story. Even before reaching the cursed beach, there are already several signs that seek to get the viewer into the game proposed by the director.

The problem with this tape is something that is common in cinema today. Before entering the room, having seen the trailer or any promotional content, we already know a lot about the plot, so it is difficult for any movie to surprise you beyond the ones that play the trick of presenting an unexpected revelation at the end.

Despite this handicap, Shyamalan manages quite well to present various surprises and shocking moments, dosing them in such a way that the viewer is never bored while at the same time asking the same questions as the protagonists. What the hell is going on on the beach? Why? How could you escape from there? The story invites you to think about the process of growth, maturity and aging, but there is almost no time for it due to the supernatural thriller structure of the film and the pace at which the story progresses, looking for answers and a solution that it seems complicated, as one blow after another follows one another.

There are several very distressing moments

Shyamalan is a great teacher with the camera that get the most out of shooting in a single location as open as a beach. In addition, he is very good at generating tension, which he achieves with the use of off-field spaces and misframes so that the public fill in the gaps with their own nightmares. The best thing about the film is seeing the characters’ reactions to the horror that surrounds them: their wild eyes, their screams, their fear of the incomprehensibility of the situation; we are more afraid than when they show us what their eyes see.

For all this, it is necessary to have actors who know how to transmit their emotions, something that they undoubtedly achieve. Gael García Bernal and Vicky Krieps in the shoes of Guy and Prisca Cappa, Rufus Sewell, Abbey Lee as Charles and Chrystal, Ken Leung y Nikki Amuka-Bird embodying Jarin and Patricia Carmichael or Aaron Pierre as Mid-Sized Sedan; in addition to Alex Wolff, Thomasin McKenzie, Embeth Davidtz and Eliza Scanlen in their roles as children.

Gael García Bernal offers a very complete work

The problem of the film comes when the director insists on overexplaining everything through forced dialogue that does a disservice to the rhythm of the film. The script has many of the traps that Shyamalan has us already accustomed to, but the worst thing is that it also features some holes that could have been avoided with a little more work or, perhaps, not looking to produce a moment of impact every so often.

Also, it seems that Shyamalan is a little tired of being accused that his films have weird or misunderstood endings and here offers a conclusion that leaves everything tied and well tied. I think it is a mistake: the explanation about the phenomenon of temporal acceleration is very, very taken with tweezers and the final arc, too hasty, does not match the air that the whole film transmits.

In summary, Time falls short of being one of Shyamalan’s great movies since the plot ends up seeing the seams in various places. Despite this, the film offers very interesting moments and makes us think about very deep issues that derive from how the passage of time affects the human being. Life is nothing more than a fragile sand castle that inevitably collapses. It is a shame that the end, so explained and so tied, takes away the strength of a tape that does offers two hours of entertainment and tension, especially if the viewer enters the game and is carried away by the story.

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Criticism of Time (Old). Shyamalan delivers a taut fantasy thriller that deflates at the end