The crisis facing the world, distrust of one another, the collective paranoia, and the lack of awareness and respect for nature were some of the elements that The Sixth Sense director M. Night Shyamalan used to write, produce, and direct The Happening, the highly anticipated film, now in theaters, that conveys an urgent message to save the planet.
“This movie is something that goes beyond faith and any philosophy. It shows where humanity stand at this moment in time and questions our own beliefs about life,” said the 37-year-old director at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in New York, a few short blocks away from Central Park, where he shot the first scene of the movie.
It’s not that the movie is necessarily a story of hope. On the contrary, filled with bloody and violent scenes, Shyamalan wants audiences to squirm so that they can think about what humanity is doing to the world. “We want to impact people, and so we had a lot of violently charged visceral moments that we felt necessary. If we would have made a G movie (for the General Public) with restrictions, it wouldn’t have had the same effect,” explained Shyamalan.
The director isn’t the only one who defends his script. Actress Zooey Deschanel, who plays a therapist, says the movie will purturb anyone who sees it. “It’s about that internal struggle of trying to do the right thing,” she said. “It’s about developing courage, which is not to be misunderstood as a failure to be afraid, but as the ability to act and do something good in situations of fear,” said John Leguizamo, who plays a math teacher. “When I read the script I accepted the role because I understood that this project had something to tell the world and that’s why I liked it –because sometimes there are films that have nothing to say and this goes beyond that,” added the actor.
As for Mark Wahlberg, who plays a science teacher that tries to figure out the mystery behind the serious attacks, said that The Happening is simply a loud cry that motivates people to rethink their lives and faith. Shyamalan and the actors alike believe they’ve succeeded in their goal of making a good film that raises consciousness, but at the end of the day, audiences will have the final say on whether it’s a masterpiece or a masterflop.