Thursday, July 20, 2006


M.Night Shyamalan's Lady in the Water hits theaters tomorrow. Ever since The Sixth Sense catapulted the director to fame, a big, final twist has become his trademark in his films. Both Unbreakable and The Village maintained his reputation by throwing in a big twist in the climax but Signs did not end in that way. He has repeatedly stressed that The Lady in the Water also does not have any big twist but people are not going to believe him till they see the film.

Based on the initial reviews, the film seems to be a departure from his usual kind of movies. Though the trailer takes pains to make it seem like it offers up the same combination of chills and suspense as his earlier movies, it seems to be more of a fairy tale or a fantasy. He proved with The Village that he is enough of a brand name to make viewers see his film on the strength of his name alone. And his name is what is going to bring them to this film too since it has no big stars. But after the first weekend, the film will run only if word of mouth is good. Have to wait and watch if that happens...

MSN has listed their favorite 10 twist endings in English films. Some popular ones like The Sixth Sense and The Usual Suspects don't find a place in the list. And I haven't seen some of the old ones mentioned like Suspicion and Witness for the Prosecution. But no complaints about the films that I have seen that made the list. Films like The Others, Oldboy and Fight Club completely blindsided me with their final revelations and would've made my top 10 list also.


At 4:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the article and the link.I LOVE movies with a twist perhaps you should compile a list of Tamil movies that feature a one (albeit it may be a short one!) Some of the flicks that come to mind:

1) Pudhiya Paravai
This may not surprise me if viewed today but I guess I was 12 when I saw this and was blown away by the ending.
2) Nooravadhu Naal.
Ok, maybe this is more of a who-dunnit but still, I must admit that the ending surprised me as I didn't expect "perennial cancer patient" Mohan to be a bad guy.
3) Manichitratazhu(Malayalam)
Not a major twist but still Fazil handled the revelation of the "possessed" party a lot smoothly than P.Vasu's extremely dated approach!
4) 7G Rainbow Colony
OK not really a twist I admit still I thought the director's handling of the climax (Is Sonia alive or not?) was a cool touch.
The Twist (It ain't his twin brother doing the killings, it's actually him) plus the extremely un-Tamil Film like ending( 'bad' guy is not punished) makes this the only movie in the Simbhu catalogue worth sitting through.

At 7:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Krishna beat me to this topic! but parava ille, "raaman oru vagai kannan oru vagai, irandum ulagil samma needhi!"

Here're my fav. (either they were shocking or just plain POWERFUL) Thamizh cinema climaxes:


Housefull (brilliant in its conception...the way parthiban runs into the theatre, seconds b4 the bomb is going to go off, only to find...)

Kudaikkull Mazhai (poignant)

Kadhal Koattai (Susssssssspensssse!)

Moondraam Pirai

Guna (the way kamal recites, "Punniyam Seithanave Maname" is astonishingly powerful)

Kadhal Kondain (superbly executed)

Mouna Raagam (the "munnodi" of all train station climaxes!)

Udhiri Pookkall (interesting how Satyaraj's final decision in Pagal Nilavu kinda mirrors this one)

Mahanadhi (the act Kamal performs on the terrace of that Hotel is defn. gruesome but on repeated viewings, I've thought more along the lines of, "evlo sogam kalandha kovam irundhirundha ipdi panuvaar"-nu...)

At 10:20 AM, Blogger Filbert said...

I am too looking forward to the movie, Balaji. While on Shyamalan, this article in Newsweek kind of dwells on what Hollywood feels about him, saying that success has gone into his head.

Ram, agree with most films on your list. My list will definitely have Bharathi Kannamma & Kaadhal. And instead of saying Sethu, we might as well say 'Bala's movies' :)

At 11:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

filbert, how could i forget Bharathi Kannamaa! (i am sure i missed a few like these that i havent visited in a while...) it was a stunning was the finales of Porkaalam and Desiya Geetham...though all three of these cheran movies had powerful endings, more to do with the Direction, I feel that even more than Autograph, it was Paandavar Bhoomi that had the best of endings...Ranjith's performance in the last scene was deeply moving...

At 2:00 PM, Blogger Chitra said...

It is unfair how the article gives away all the endings. I feel bad for having read a couple of them, without realizing that I was reading them. I really didnt think they would be giving it away! Ugh!

My experience with Sixth sense is similar. The review in 'The Hindu' revealed the much hushed-up ending, without a care to its reader. Will never forgive the newspaper for it.

At 10:59 PM, Blogger Balaji said...

krishna/ram, actually both u guys beat me to it. i wanted to do a post on twists in Tamil films also. just didn't have the time. will probably do one next week anyway since i can think of a few films not on either of ur lists :)

filbert, i was planning to watch it also. but its been universally drubbed in the reviews today. so decided to wait for the dvd :)

missy, i had thot of mentioning that the article had spoilers but forgot about it. but the intro does warn us about that. i actually skipped over the paras about the movies that i havent seen :)

i saw 'sixth sense' opening day with no clue about the kind of movie. so i was blown away by the ending. so i can understand ur frustration on knowing about it beforehand :)

At 1:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey balaji,

i feel so disappointed that unbreakable doesn't get the credit it deserves and even more saddened that it is considered one of night's lesser films when in actuality it is probably his best to date. I guess from the beginning the movie was doomed due to the masses expecting a sixth sense type film ( and the marketing aspect of unbreakable reassured this expectation). If the studio and night himself let out the premise ahead of time there wouldn't have been such a rash of negative feedback. Also comics and superheroes have a sort of stigma attached to them so that didn't help either (though the film does an amazing job to dispel all of that).
unbreakable is the defintion of underrated balaji and hopefully you can watch it again and give your thoughts on it.

At 8:26 AM, Blogger Sridhar Harisekaran said...

I got a chance to "The Others" Movie last week. It was incredible in the end. It was really one of the shocking and twister movies, I have ever seen. From trailers, “The Lady in the Water” is not much scary movie as The Signs but I believe it makes our heart to beat just above normal …


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