Our own Manoj Night Shyamalan’s films have been going from worse to worse, with a few exceptions, like the 2016 thriller Split which was redeemed by James McAvoy’s macabre performance.
Old is tediously non-involving. I am trying to be as polite as possible about how gawd-awfully dull and incoherent this film really is. It is a shame that we have to watch it with gritted teeth because…well… apna Shyamalan ki picture hai, mere dost. Be warned. The premise for his suspenseful pilgrimages are becoming harder to swallow with each passing film.
In this one, a bunch of vacationers are trapped on a scenic island where the inhabitants age a lifetime during 24 hours. I don’t know how much I aged in the two hours of watching this excruciating brain-bender. But it definitely left me a lot more worldweary and haggard at the end of the movie when one of the characters sagely informs us, “I came to the island at 9 and I am leaving at 50.” The luckier ones were killed earlier, out of sheer boredom I’d think.
Island vacations popping off one after the other reminded me of Agatha Christie’s Ten Little Indians. The actors playing victims of some brain-skewed experiment involving an anti-aging drug looked lost most of the way. Gael García Bernal and Vicky Krieps, interested in other films, play a couple facing marital problems. The wife had a tumour which acquired a life of its own as the plot hops from one absurdity to another.
When their kids start growing up a little too fast (we are talking 10-15 years in a few hours) they forget their own problems and begin to focus on how to get off the island before the wrinkles take over their lives completely. Trying to figure out how to make my escape. But then the 300 rupees ticket for each individual (there were 4 of us) and a commitment to submit a review kept me going.
But seriously, Shyamalan should give me back at least my money, if not my wasted hours. This is a dumb, pigheaded sci-fi horror film with not a single genuine scary moment. Unless you find a girl who was just a child a while back growing up in minutes, having s** and giving birth all within 15 minutes. By then I was laughing too hard to feel scared.
Really, Mr Shyamalan, you need a break. Forget Sixth Sense. There is no sense left in your vain attempts to spook us.
Image source: IMDb