ok - you can read my full review of shyamalan's lady in the water in the next issue of 'third way' magazine www.thirdway.org.uk
but for now...here's some thoughts
shyamalan believes in magic, and he wants us to as well
he makes films about magic
each of them has made me feel like i'm experiencing something bigger than myself - like the way i felt when i went to the movies as a kid
he's into the Big Themes...death/life, love/spirituality, god, forgiveness, healing...
i like him.
BUT...lady in the water felt to me like an attempt at saying everything he thinks in one place.
it does suggest wonderful things about community life, about vocational purpose, about fear, and about how we all need each other
but it's such a convoluted narrative, and the characters so arch and unrealistic that i spent too much time thinking about what was wrong with the film than about what it might teach me.
having said this, several people i know and respect have been alarmed by my response...they seem to love it, they seem to see themselves in it, they seem to see hope and life, and even god.
that's enough reason for me to at least see it again.
but for now, the lady is neither waving nor drowning, she's just treading water.