It's crop circles, corn and bags of yarn as Night Shyamalan's Signs reaffirms that there is more to this yarn than pure yawn. Father Graham Hess (Mel Gibson) is a once-upon-a-time priest who decides to shelve his collar and faith after his wife's death. Concentrating all his energies that were once dissipated from the pulpit, he focuses on his kids - 10-year-old asthmatic Morgan (Rory Culkin) and Bo (Abigail Breslin) - who incidentally don't see dead people. Almost reminiscent of Full House, the flick has his younger brother Merril (Joaquin Phoenix) also shacking up with him helping with the kids.
The movie then begins to sketch these 4 characters, focusing on their quirks. We get to know them just a little bit, just enough to make us feel fashionably sensitive but then too cool to care. Shyamalan scores his first goal here.
Rising from a dead sleep one morning, Graham discovers something amiss. The strange behavior of his pet, coupled with the eerie appearance of crop circles in his field, is enough to give us a clue that 'the aliens have landed'. Graham's earthly confidence vanishes when he discovers the appearance of these circles all across the globe and weird lights blipping across the skies.
The script sounds like a stock sci-fi-thriller, but it far from that as the movie grows heavy with suspense that trickles through the veins of the script. The first hour of the movie is brilliantly shot, with loads of overhead shots and some cool wide-angle stuff. Shyamalan hits the right chord with plenty of at-the-edge-of-seat stuff. The parts that aren't spooky are liberally sprinkled with chunks of dry humor, which makes the flick realistic and unforced. The film hits a high note for most of the time but falters slightly in the last twenty minutes or so.
Mel Gibson is great fun to watch after the low IQ'ed What Women Want. Shyamalan paved a fab road for Haley Joel Osment In Sixth Sense, and continues to direct his ass off. The other two kids on this flick also do an abso-fab job. And so does Joaquin Phoenix (hee hee) who is surprisingly funny.
While Shyamalan's previous flick took itself a little too seriously (did anybody even HEAR the actors in Unbreakable? what's the point of having lines if you can't hear them, for crissakes?), Signs, too, is far from flawless. It's a little bird-brained that aliens navigating inter-stellar spaces need crop circles to serve as parking spaces (a little DUH?
mebbe!). As also the blatant classification by Shyamalan of the people and faith - either you have it or you don't. Hullo? Has anybody heard of the color grey? And what was the alien tromping about the roofs for, man? (Welcome to Earth - Land Of The Roofs!)
But still, Signs is a great movie to catch over the weekend - just don't expect too many answers to the questions from the cosmos.
where the f*** are any effects in this movie ? who's this sharath dude .. movie dekhke comment karo bhai ... also, the reviewer is off-track when he wants to concentrate on the aliens stuff .. dude, this movie is more about faith and stuff .. aliens are just used as a better backdrop .. a very well made movie but leaves lot of unanswered questions .. we need to wait for shyamalan's DVD to come out .. he will explain a lot of tnhins there I presume .. I learnt how much he thinks when I saw the DVD of sixth sense. . so, thre it is ..
Not a lot of SFX, but an interesting storyline and cast. Memorable and sometimes scary when not. I would have liked the idea if the audience would have been involved in this film and been given those two choices when seeing it, to have faith or to be scared.
I guess Night Shyamalan tried to stay low-key throughout the movie...the first thing that hits you is the heady combo of humour and terror throughout the movie. I wonder how many people really understood what the movie is all about. Even I am a bit hazy...but the whole thing is something of a everything-is-preordained-so-let's-pray shebang. A movie that makes you think!!!! Glory be!!!