A family on a tropical holiday discovers that the secluded beach where they are relaxing for a few hours is somehow causing them to age rapidly reducing their entire lives into a single day.
Cinema Release Dates: 22nd July 2021 (Australia), 23rd July 2021 (UK), 23rd July 2021 (USA)
VOD Release Dates: TBA
Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Screenwriter: M. Night Shyamalan
Cast: Nikki Amuka-Bird (Patricia), Gael Garcia Bernal (Guy), Kathleen Chalfant (Agnes), Embeth Davidtz (Adult Maddox), Francesca Eastwood (Madrid), Emun Elliott (Adult Trent), Mikaya Fisher (Kara Aged 11), Gustaf Hammarsten (Resort Manager), Jeffrey Holsman (Mr. Brody), Daniel Ison (Greg Mitchel), Kailen Jude (Idlib), Vicky Krieps (Prisca), Abbey Lee (Chrystal), Ken Leung (Jarin), Thomasin McKenzie (Maddox Aged 16), Aaron Pierre (Mid-Sized Sedan), Nolan River (Trent Aged 6), Luca Faustino Rodriguez (Trent Aged 11), Eliza Scanlen (Kara Aged 15), Rufus Sewell (Charles),Matthew Shear (Sidney), Alexa Swinton (Maddox Aged 11), Alex Wolff (Trent Aged 15)
Running Time: 108 mins
Classification: M (Australia), .15 (UK), PG-13 (USA)
OUR OLD REVIEWS
David Griffiths’ Old Review:
I want to preface what I am about to say here by saying that I am normally the person in a conversation that will defend M. Night Shyamalan as a film-maker. Aside from The Last Airbender and After Death I have enjoyed all of his films and have even found merit films like Lady In The Water and The Happening that some seem to despise. That being said though I found Old to be his worst film to date – it is a film that has a brilliant premise but sadly is badly executed.
The premise to Old is simple. Guy (Gael Garcia Bernal – Y Tu Mama Tambien) and Prisca (Vicky Krieps – Phantom Thread) are a married couple who decide to take their children on one last holiday before they divorce.
Once arriving on the island paradise it is suggested that visit a beautiful secluded cove and they taken there by the resort staff alongside another married couple, surgeon Charles (Rufus Sewell – A Night’s Tale), his trophy wife Chrystal (Abbey Lee – Mad Max: Fury Road) and their daughter. However the trip to the cove quickly takes a turn for the worst when a body washes up which Charles instantly assumes is the work of the mysterious Mid-Sized Sedan (Aaron Pierre – Krypton) who can’t stop his nose from bleeding.
Without giving anything away the premise of Old and the reveal of why it is happening is pretty amazing, and to be honest Old could have turned out to be an absolute masterpiece but for many reasons this film ends up becoming seriously flawed. From unnatural, over-written dialogue through to some really bad acting performances from some of the cast make the film feel like something has gone horribly wrong with the film-making process somewhere along the way.
Then there is the fact that even though characters are aging at an alarming rate nobodies hair, beards, body hair or fingernails ever seem to become out of control despite the fact that it is unlikely that anybody would have packed grooming products to go on what was just supposed to be a picnic. Like time travel often does in movies the premise of what is supposed to be happening here trips itself up on a number of levels throughout the film.
It also feels like the events that are happening in the film all happen too quickly. A film like this does need to have a body count but not people dropping like flies – not unless the director is better at portraying the panic that that would put the other characters in than what Shyamalan is here. Perhaps the best way to have handled the subject would have been in a real-time drama series, like 24, where one hour of television could have shown what happened to that character in that hour (ie eight years) of their life.
The worst possible crime here for me though is the badly written dialogue. While it is to understand that Trent’s dialogue is different due to the fact that his character is autistic it doesn’t makes sense to why the dialogue of characters like Prisca also speak in such a disjointed and over-explanatory way. Add that to the fact that some of the acting here, and I am not talking about the young cast members, makes The Young And The Restless seem Oscar-worthy and the result is you have a lot of characters that become hard for the audience to warm to.
The saddest part of this film is that it finally grabs the attention of the audience towards the finale. Once the big reveal happens the film becomes interesting but sadly that is all too little too late and I dare say that if the screening that I was in is anything to go by some people may have already left the cinema.
I get a strong feeling that in years to come Old will be shown at film schools as a good example of ‘great idea but poor execution.’ While the idea of the film is a stroke of genius the many flaws of the film means it is not a film that is a pleasure to watch. That seems even more of a crime when you know that when he is at the top of his game M. Night Shyamalan is one of Hollywood’s best filmmakers.
Dave’s rating Out Of 5
Average Subculture Rating:
Other Subculture Old Reviews: