Friday, 20 August 2010

The One Where I Discuss Twists Via The Movies Of Shyamalan

Movie twists. Here be spoilers. Or is there...?? *

*There actually is

So, GC and I were discussing Shutter Island, and how difficult it is, to discuss that film, with out revealing it's "twist" - or secret. He doesn't give much away, but hints. And it's really difficult not too. The film encourages discussion.

It got me thinking...

If a movie can't be discussed with out mentioning a twist, is that a good or bad thing?

Can it ruin a movie, to be known predominantly for it's twist?

Can a movie suffer from a twist?

OK, one at a time.

I'm not sure it's good or bad for a films twist to be integral to it's discussion.

Sixth Sense is a great example of a film being sold on it's twist. Now, you can discuss that film with out mentioning the twist, but the repeat viewing it encourages are generally based around the twist.

Keeping that twist a secret nowadays, with how powerful the Internet has become, would be a nightmare. And you get the impression that studios wouldn't want too.

JMcG and I went to see Salt last night. I was pleasantly surprised by how many twists and turns that film had, and how well they had kept them secret - And that from a film that I thought gave away a killer twist in the trailer.

Imagine watching Usual Suspects or Seven for the first time, knowing nothing.

Imagine thinking Crying Game was just a political thriller.

The problem is, nowadays that's difficult. There are sites dedicated to spoiling. IMDB threads are littered with it.

Now, as a film fan, I find it really difficult to avoid that sort of thing.

Have you heard of Catfish? Google it. In a month or so, that will be all over the place. Could I avoid the "twist"? No.

Did I want too?

Not really.

Others will say that ruins the experience, but the truth is, I spend way, (WAY), too much time on movie sites to avoid spoilers - and that's a risk I take.

Does that hurt a movie?

I think with Sixth Sense it did, actually. It made Shyamalan into the man with the twist. With Unbreakable, which I whole heartily love, he couldn't not have a twist. He'd built an audience on it. The nature of the beast is that the twists keep escalating, trying to get more grand... then the audience turn. When Shyamalan finally does what he should have done at the start making other peoples movies minus twists, he's slated. (To be fair, I slated him too, as the film is poor, but...)

Shyamalan is also a great example of how a twist can ruin a movie.

I think Signs is the best example of it, although a  lot of people would throw Village in there.

The "twist" in Signs is pretty idiotic. Now, that doesn't ruin it outright for me - I love the film - but it throws everything from before out of sync. Religion is a key theme through out the movie, including a key flashback. So you think Religion, and fate, will have more of a say in the ending. Fate does, obviously, but the Religion angle is almost irrelevant. Apart from regaining faith, which could have happened in any number of other ways.

I think the twist in The Village is very good.

One that offended loads of other viewers, because they felt duped.

That's not a good way to make an audience feel. Cheated. That the rug has been pulled, and everything that went before was B/S.

That's when a twist hurts the movie. And encourages parody.

Salt ran the risk of doing that a few times. How much you're enjoying the story will determine whether you'll let it go.

So... what's your favourite movie twist?

All that, and all we really needed was this...


Anonymous said...

Forget Shyamalan.His twists may be subtle but they dont make a great film. Nomination for 'Best twist' in a film has to be Di Caprio being killed at the (almost) end of The Departed only to be followed by Damon getting his come uppance right at the end. You are the expert, I'm not sure Scorcese can take the credit because I think it is a remake? If it is I've never seen the original. Viper

@maverick99sback said...

Can I just ask where the casual obsession with Departed has come from, Dad?

If I remember correctly, you spent the whole time covering your eyes in the cinema...

Like a big sissy girl!

@maverick99sback said...

Oh, and def a remake.

Original is called Infernal Affairs.

Made in Hong Kong.

Good lil film - but it aint no Scorcese!