Shyamalan by day...what's he upto ?

It's been all quite on the Manoj Night Shyamalan front (or is it?). He was in the news for the 2 minute ad film as part of their series 'My Life, My Card' he directed for American Express (in which he starred too). He continued to stay in my mindshare, thanks to HBO. I happened to see trailers of 'Lady in the Water' on HBO and watched it again and was fascinated by his intent and his style although my first impression of the movie when it released was not too great, I continue to be fascinated by his storytelling.

Manoj Night Shyamalan was born in India but brought up in Philadelphia (which usually plays a prominent role in his films), he came to world attention with his sleeper blockbuster (and 2nd film) 'The Sixth Sense'. It is believed that Shyamalan made over 40 home movies in his teenage and was an ardent fan of Spielberg. After studying in film school his first effort was 'Praying with Anger' and then the theatrical feature film 'Wide Awake' (1998) which faded into obscurity. His 1999 blockbuster set him in the Hollywood elite list. He followed it up with 'Unbreakable' starring Bruce Willis and Samuel L Jackson and then with 'Signs' starring Mel Gibson and Joaquin Phoenix. This was followed by 'The Village' and 'Lady in the Water'. He of course worked on the 'Stuart Little' movies as writer. he turned down offers to work on the final installment of Indiana Jones and also turned down the offer to direct the 3rd Harry Potter movie. What's he up to now ?

Well, he's working on 'The Happening' which is allegedly the tale of a family which is trying to survive a disaster that is out to wipe out of humanity. It stars Mark Whalberg and John Leguizamo.

Having watched almost all his movies (except his first two films) and being fascinated by his style, I do believe he is a brilliant director but get the feeling he's getting tapped in his own brilliance and is probably letting his fantasies dilute his sense of the audience. I am sure "The Happening" will have his usual style of storytelling and characterization and will have a twist towards the end. Will keenly wait to watch this one.


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