I read this David Poland/Hot Button piece about Michael Bamberger‘s M. Night Shyamalan book late yesterday afternoon. It’s a solid, thorough and perceptive take on a fascinating, at times recklessly out-there confessional.
My differing view is that while the reactions have indeed been “a bit too harsh” so far, the value of the book — and the state of Shyamalan’s reputation — should not depend on whether or not Lady in the Water makes it as critical or commercial hit. Shyamalan’s bravery (even if you want to call it a form of manipulated spin) in allowing himself to be portrayed in such vulnerable, emotionally fragile terms deserves respect.
I said a day or two ago it’ll be no tragedy if Lady in the Water ‘s reception (we’ll know this story soon enough) forces him to become a lower-budget art-house director or go the director-for-hire route…no tragedy at all. The man has to free himself from the Sixth Sense penitentiary he’s been living in these last few years; maybe deep down this is the way he’s decided to accomplish that.