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‘Lady in the Water’ makes dark splash

In this edition of the “Critic's Corner,” “Today” movie critic Gene Shalit reviews “Lady in the Water."
/ Source: TODAY

M. Night Shyamalan's latest movie, “Lady in the Water” surfaces in theaters all over the country July 21. “Today” movie critic Gene Shalit says “dive in,” but if you do, you may find you're all wet.

The exceptional actor Paul Giamatti has done some offbeat movies, but none offbeater than “Lady in the Water.” This is an out-there-out-outcropping from the way-out writer-director M. Night Shyamalan, whose initial M. must stand for Maverick. Shyamalan is so unconventional, he wouldn’t recognize “orthodox” at a Hasidic convention. Giamatti, a deeply depressed apartment-house super, finds a lady (Bryce Dallas Howard) living deep in the swimming pool.  Giamatti carries her home, discovers she’s a water-dwelling Narf who must be returned to the pool without being killed by a rogue Scrunt who’s lurking outside. Giamatti is baffled until he’s clued in by an old Asian woman who knows no English, but knows from Narfs and Scrunts.  Giamatti mobilizes all the tenants, urging them to pool their power to save the Narf and blunt the Scrunt. Giamatti is stumped. That’s two of us. The difference is: he cares. However, let it be said that ardent fans of Shyamalan’s bizarre movies will find that this is Mr. Shyamalan’s newest bizarre movie.