The mysteries and fears of aging are the centerpiece of the Indian-American director’s latest endeavor. ‘Viejos’ is on theaters.
A family comes on vacation to a hidden beach in a nature reserve whose data they found on the internet. They try to forget or at least not to mention that it could be a last trip; physical health and marital health are threatened. The children, even if they do not say it, are aware of it, because they have created their own mantra to give themselves confidence: “We will never leave each other. Nothing will separate us ”.
But this is not such a secret beach, as they will have to share it with three other families that suddenly appear, and with the mysteries that it hides between rocks and caves. In this place, time behaves differently and capriciously. Before you know it they have all started to gain age quickly, a couple of years every hour, with all the changes and problems of aging. Can they get out of there before the day is out?
K. Austin Collins, of The Rolling Stone, compared Old (also titled in Spanish as Weather) with Psychosis, Alfred Hitchcock’s movie, by the way it leaves the viewer searching for clues throughout most of the narrative, in a kind of agonizing wait for an explanation at the end. “You can’t just explain the inexplicable, the horrendous, the weird,” warns Collins.
Allison Wilmore, de Vulture, praises in his criticism the way in which Shyalaman makes the island the protagonist, with humans as secondary characters, often in the background, objects of horror, who do not know what is happening to them or what awaits them. “Shyalaman – accompanied by his regular cameraman, Mike Gioulakis – can make a shot of palm trees sinister, just by moving the camera.” It is a metaphor about the passage of time in which the development of the characters, adults or children, does not matter so much, but that they are appropriately terrified, and this is one of the aspects that Wilmore questions the most.
It is “his best movie since The sixth Sense”, on the other hand, Peter Bradshaw thinks, from The Guardian. “It’s high-concept horror ”, with which anyone who has been to a too hot beach on a holiday easily identifies. On Old, Shyalaman regains the steering wheel that, according to Bradshaw, seemed to have lost in The village (2004) the The end of the ages (2007). The director is introduced to the film, in a significant cameo (he literally leads the tourists to the beach).
Old is an adaptation of the graphic novel Sandcastle (Editorial Astiberri), by Pierre Oscar Lévy and Frederik Peeters.
It is good to know something about the book, suggests Brian Tallerico, from RogerEbert.com, who understands that the passage of time changes according to the phases of life, “But especially when you see your children grow up in a hurry and you worry about not being able to witness the best of their day.” Old play on this theme and these feelings in a scary way. This is his motive, and he doesn’t care so much about solving it or explaining everything in the end; if you lose sight of this, it might seem somewhat disappointing.
Shyalaman has said of Old: “It scared me that it was too intellectual an idea”, one of his biggest fears as a filmmaker. He is also worried about being seen as a scary film director, because he says that he does not make terror, “never”, but something “dark and disturbing”.
Why did you choose the story of Old? “Each of my films reflects what I am living in that moment.” And in this he shows his concern to see how his parents age. “My father and mother are getting very old and I wanted to explore what I feel”. Only in Old He has reversed it: parents concerned about themselves, but more about their children.
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