Here’s How M. Night Shyamalan Judges His Movies

Liking an M. Night Shyamalan movie is a subjective matter since some people have expressed displeasure with a few of his pictures once the twist has been revealed and the plot laid completely bare, while others love the twist and tend to stick around for it no matter if their bladder feels close to bursting. According to Joey Paur of GeekTyrant this is how Shyamalan actually grades and judges his movies when it comes to the length, the content, and the pacing. He observes people during the screening of his movies and takes note of how many people get up to go use the bathroom at various points in the movie. When you think about it this is kind of ingenious even if it sounds a bit silly since there are those folks that don’t care about what’s happening in a movie, if nature calls they’re going to answer and that’s that. But then there are a lot of people that will become so gripped by the movie that they don’t want to move, they don’t even want to think about getting up from their seat since they want to see just what’s about to happen and how the plot twist is going to affect the whole movie. This is essentially how Shyamalan pares down his movies as he gradually finds what’s working and possibly tweaks or gets rid of the rest in an attempt to give the audience the best cinematic experience he can.

For those that enjoy going to the theater it’s easy to understand that when you sit down eventually there’s going to come a moment when you feel the need to relieve yourself, especially if you bring in or purchase snacks that you plan to enjoy before or during the movie. That call of nature can be pretty insistent after a while depending on how much and what you ate or drank, but the ability to hold it, for some people, is pretty strong and depends entirely upon whether they’re really into the movie or not. John Kennedy of Popular Science has a discussion to share that might be kind of interesting. For some of Shyamalan’s movies it’s been possible to get up, go take care of business, and then come back and get right back into the story no matter how complex it might appear. But with other movies it’s a sure way to lose your place and have to ask someone what happened whenever you get the chance since Shyamalan tends to enjoy those twists in such a big way that trying to sort them out after you’ve been away for just a couple of minutes is nothing short of maddening.

Of course there have been a couple of movies by Shyamalan that have been maddening without the benefit of people getting up to use the bathroom since he tends to love twisting and turning things around in a way that just happens to invite confusion and can nab people in his web without that much effort. He’s a skilled storyteller, of that there’s no doubt, but his ability to sometimes go a little too far with the twisting and turning in his movies can really screw with a person’s head and make them wonder if they’re over-thinking the movie or if they’re not digging deeply enough into the hidden meanings and cleverly-worded phrases that Shyamalan is so fond of crafting into his dialogue. Marc N. Kleinhenz of Screenrant has more to say on this matter. He’s had his great movies and those that were okay but not all that wonderful for various reasons, but as one might expect the individual tastes of many moviegoers would tend to differ since some believe that he has yet to make a terrible movie, meaning they must have forgotten The Happening, while others believe he’s been a kind of hit and miss director that doesn’t always manage to hit his intended target when trying to please the audience. But out of anything else that could be said about this director his idea for grading his movies is highly intriguing since it does make a good deal of sense and it is very indicative of how deeply a person is invested in a movie.

Has anyone else ever squirmed in a theater seat since their body is demanding that they visit the restroom? That’s the sign of a good movie, one that doesn’t let go and one that the individual doesn’t want to miss a minute of since they want to see just what’s going to happen and how the story is going to continue to develop. Even those that do want to see how things turn out and still answer the call tend to be moving as quickly as they can and keeping their eyes on the screen on their way out of the theater to make sure they don’t miss as much. It’s a wonder that more directors don’t do this, but then Shyamalan is a little different in his approach, which is why he’s still counted as unique.

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