‘Old’ Review: They Said The Sun Could Make You Old, But It’s So Ridiculous


In the opening pages of Dean Martin’s 1992 biography “Dino” by Nick Tosches, the author refers to a haunting Italian phrase: “La vecchiaia è carogna.” “Get old age.”

In the new movie “Old,” written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan, we see three vultures climbing into the sky atop a tree when some vacationing families stop on a secluded beach recommended by a spoiled resort manager.

Shortly after that, unusual things start to happen. Guy and Prisca’s younger children (Gael García Bernal and Vicky Krieps, both gorgeous, like the entire cast) are feeling their swimsuits stretched. An epileptic psychologist (Nikki Amuka-Bird) unexpectedly finds herself symptom-free. The aged mother of a trigger doctor’s prize wife just gets up and dies. A moderately famous rap star (Aaron Pierre), who came to the beach a few hours ago, is walking around stunned with an incurable nosebleed. His female friend’s body is found in the water, causing the doctor (Rufus Sewell) to accuse the rapper of murder.

Over time – not too much time, because as it is, it is essential in this case – those who go to the beach realize that they are aging at an accelerating rate. Half an hour equals about a year.

And the beach that makes them age doesn’t let them go.

A little vacation. Shyamalan adapted his disturbing story from the graphic novel “Sandcastle” by French writer Pierre Oscar Lévy and Swiss illustrator Frederik Peeters. As is often the case with French-made bandes dessinées, “Sandcastle” is a rigid existentialist parable. (Perhaps it is no coincidence that the book Krips is trying to read on the beach is a dual biography of Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir.) Shyamalan expands the book in a way one might expect from an American filmmaker—among others. things eventually offer some kind of explanation that the source material doesn’t.

“Old,” PG-13, does not dwell, as the graphic novel does, on how rapid aging in the hormonal department affects the children of this group of adolescents, although a pregnancy does occur during the joint lives of the victims. in one day. Instead, the film succumbs to the considerable anxiety and fear felt and reinforced by the adults who often argue. Wounds heal incredibly quickly as time speeds up here. The director uses it for a few awkward, harrowing knife fights and an impromptu surgery scene. The terrifying potential of breaking bones, followed by an instantaneous false reset of themselves, doesn’t go unnoticed.

Shyamalan’s fluid filmmaking style, whose outstanding features are almost always a moving camera and a bag of focus tricks, serves him particularly well here. Sometimes the camera moves back and forth in a ticking pendulum (get it?) and returns to its starting point to reveal a gruesome change. The way his characters change their cast as they age is flawless. (The director’s work on the verbal section isn’t all that accurate. He calls Pierre’s rap star the “Medium Saloon”; early on, one character complains to the other, “You’re always thinking about the future and it makes me feel unseen”)

If old age is carrion, it’s also, as a “Citizen Kane” character says, the only disease you don’t expect to be cured of, and that gives impetus to the movie’s finale. While Shyamalan is often cited, hard endingsIt’s arguable that it didn’t quite match the landing. It adds a bit of hope to the story, the highly respected Hollywood meta, and also makes some anti-science propaganda in the real world that could not be more unwelcome at this particular time.

It was rated PG-13 for scary images, language, and aging. Working time: 1 hour 48 minutes. In movie theaters.


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