Tuesday, 17 June 2008

The Good, The Bad and The Cinematic: The Happening

Last Friday a friend and I went to see M. Night Shylamalangadingdong's most recent effort, The Happening. I recommend now, as your friend and lover, that you do not make the same mistake. I won't, in the interest of respecting your right to watch an awful film without having it ruined for you, explain any plot details, but I will say these few things:

1) Do not watch this film if you do not want your intelligence insulted. Because, frankly, it will be. Lots. Lots and lots and lots. It turns out the Shylamalangadingdong thinks we're all idiots who will unquestionably accept all we are told. Of course, for reasons that will become apparent if you see the film, my going with a neuroscientist just served to further separate believability from this film. But still, an eight year old would have trouble accepting this film on its believability credentials.

2) Do not watch this film if you appreciate good acting. Because as much as it pains me to say this about both Mark Wahlberg and Zooey Deschanel - who are both fine actors in their better films - my Welsh dresser could have put in a less wooden performance than the entire cast of this film.

3) Do not watch this film if you enjoy decent characterisation. Or at least, you don't want your characters to have been created by a twelve year old, as the main players in The Happening appear to be. Mood rings? Seriously.

4) Do not watch this film. Simply put, it's an unbelievable mess in every category, the acting, the characters, the plot, the science. I left the cinema simply exclaiming 'Why?' in a high-pitched and audibly dismayed voice for half an hour or so. Yes, the trailer looked pretty good. But then, so does the trailer for Donkey Punch...


Enjoy a couple of vaguely related songs. Another favourite by my Band of the Year, Alphabeat, aptly titled 'What Is Happening?', and an example of just how fantastic Zooey Deschanel can be as part of She & Him, my second favouritest new band of the year so far.

mp3: 'What Is Happening?' by Alphabeat
mp3: 'Why Do You Let Me Stay Here?' by She & Him

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