THE OPINION OF THE “WORLD” – NOT TO BE MISSED
A thick mystery surrounded the release of the new film by one of Hollywood’s last virtuosos in the person of M. Night Shyamalan. Press projection more than late, echoes of a filming made difficult by the pandemic due to sanitary conditions but also by climate change which destroyed the set of the film shot in the Dominican Republic.
Even the cartoonist Frederik Peeters – author with Pierre-Oscar Lévy of the comic strip adapted by the film (Sand castle, Atrabile, 2010, offered to their father by the filmmaker’s daughters) – admitted to being without news of the transmutation of his work in the cinema. Some fears were therefore running, regarding an author whose dazzling inspiration (Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, Split …) may have known a more capricious course.
Yet the result is a very good film, perhaps the darkest of Shyamalan to date and that is saying a lot, confining the viewer in a permanent state of dread – less by a riot of bloody effects than by a conceptually dizzying idea simply carried through to completion.
So land in a luxury hotel of an American chain located on a paradisiacal atoll a family made up of Guy (Gael Garcia Bernal), Prisca (Vicky Krieps) and their two children, a boy, Trent (6 years old), and a girl , Maddox (11 years old).
However, we quickly learn that the couple is in the process of separation and that he did not dare to admit to the children that this is probably their last vacation together. This insidious disturbance of the couple, which does not seem to have more consequences than that, can however be held to be the main cause of the general disturbance that will follow. As if disunity – which so easily condemns couples to death and causes children to age too quickly – were pure consent to ruin.
No other words would be used to designate the program of this film. Discreetly solicited by the manager of the hotel in the company of a few other clients, the family willingly let themselves be piloted – by M. Night Shyamalan himself, in a minibus driver at the same time as the story – to a splendid cove which acts as a private beach. They find there a rapper, a surgeon accompanied by his wife, his daughter and his mother, a nurse and his epileptic wife.
It quickly turns out that the cove is the seat of tragic events (a corpse floats in the sea, the surgeon’s mother dies of cardiac arrest, the children, from one plane to another, have become adolescents) and that a phenomenon of inexplicable vertigo makes the way back impassable.
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