Old – Movie Reviews by Ry!

Old – Ageless on the Beach: A Life Twist

Storytelling defines many interesting paths.  From the whisking journeys to the growth of the persons, stories weave matters that define purpose.  When looking at all that matters, situations can elevate a story to a higher accord.  In this review, I look at the latest film from M. Night Shyamalan.  A story built upon fate; it is a humanly tale squeezed within simple idea of storytelling.  Even when the obvious is real, Old provides the ageless question of … what matter’s the most in life.   

The story follows a group of individuals they learn about a secluded beach on their vacation.  A solace discovery turns into a nightmare, as they must find a way off the beach or die.  M. Night Shyamalan is a man that pushes the limits of the ominous within realism.  This layered purpose provides a path that can be genuinely thought-provoking, or simply moronic.  With this latest film, there is a sense of thoughtful pretext, creating ambiguity in a simple approach of a family vacation.  In the beginning, we are introduced to Guy (Gael Garcia Bernal), Prisca (Vicky Krieps) and their two children.  Through some convenient plot devices, they are flown out to an island resort to experience some down time from their everyday lives.  After their arrival, they are told of a seclude beach that is provided to their guests.  After some conversational exposition, the family (and others) are driven to this seclude getaway.  Once they arrive on the beach, everything seems like a promising day of relaxation.  The peaceful slumber becomes too good to be true, as circumstantial plot elements lead to them discovering that this beach is somehow causing them to age rapidly.  From this point, the thematic detail of a familial drama quickly turns into a tale of survival.  This change also creates an indifference of characterization, individualizing experiences of dread, anxiety and fear.  Through everyone, there is a grounded sensation within the surreal, creating subtle gravitas to a unique situation.  There is strength within this simplistic approach, but also an obviousness of certain things explained through conversation.  There is no force intent to drive the audience to ‘believe’ what is said, but it is given human trait seeing the group trying to explain the unknown.  As things turn dire, the realization becomes a matter of choice: age rapidly and die or find a way off the beach. 

As the day continues to move forward, the experiences of each person weights upon them mentally and physically.  The probability of life shortening causes conflict and revelations for each person on the beach.  Time becomes an enemy and a teacher, creating moments of subtle realization of their own guise.  Even within a linearity approach, that humanly layer provides an aspect of life experiences.  You see the pain and anguish on different levels, creating vigor of love and horror within their current truths.  As day turns to night, unexpected consequences showcase the physical decay within that raw complexity of life’s plan.  As the group dwindles down, we head into the third act of certain revelations.  Instead of the usual ‘plot twist’ setup, Shyamalan leaves the situation to be defined within its human tale.  Even when things are truly obvious within a convenient wrap-up, it is a climax that presents the question – what is really important in life.  Old is a simple journey that provides a window into the importance of our own lives.  Even when things or simplified in explanation, it’s the characters that provide worth to the journey.  If you are a fan of thrillers, this is one for you.  I think this is worth seeing as a Matinee.

Full Score – 3.5 out of 5 (Matinee)

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