Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Happenning

I am one of the "alarmists" who feel we're heading for doomsday in the way we are treating the planet and rest of life (well, it includes fellow humans, so it is all of life). But I was always of the opinion that it would be a calamity - a build-up of all that we have done and it would be in a way that is totally unpredictable after the build-up reaches critical mass.

But "The Happenning" adds a devious twist to it. The trees upgrade their chemistry and release a neurotoxin (to protect themselves) that cause humans to kill themselves. That is really a new twist and adds a surprise element right at the start of the movie. You add to that, Shyamalan's skill on crafting a really scary screenplay. He has the ability to hold the fear pulse of the audience.

But sadly, it goes down hill from there. The rest of the movie just plays on this opening premise where much could have been done with it. Also, there is too much gore in the enactment, something I never expected in a Shyamalan movie, more so given the fact he is known for his subtle touches.

I think the biggest miss of the movie is the fact that it could have driven home the concern for planetary protection using is scary fictional setting of a humanitarian crisis. (Something, "Day after Tomorrow" did very well!). It almost feels like they cut the movie short owing to a budget crisis!

You still have to give points to him for the offbeat imagination and his ability to carve a fearful screenplay.

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