It would be a mighty sweet thing to see M. Night Shyamalan as the great redemptive storyteller he clearly thinks he is—or as he portrays himself in those American Express commercials. Genuine yarn-spinning, even as a doomed ambition, is virtually extinct in American movies; what was the system's priority in the studio years became, gradually, a neglected excuse for raw effect and A.D.D. image-making. In a way Shyamalan yearns to be modern movies' W. Somerset Maugham or even Stephen King, a compulsive story-lover dismissive of both postmodernism and technology, and what he promises is gobbled up, I think, because there is such a drought of narrative thinking in the 'plexes. Shyamalan's movies are at least attempts at making the tale an emotional experience, not the noise, the effects, the music, the violence, the... More >>>