Movie Review: The Happening

 

Studio: UTV/Spyglass/20th Century Fox

Release date: June 13, 2008

Cast: Mark Wahlberg, John Leguizamo,

Zooey Deschanel

 

What

the hell is happening when something that blows in the air gives you the

overwhelming urge to want to kill yourself? What’s happening when your Mom and

Dad disappear, and the innocent life you knew has forever changed?

 

What’s

happening when you try to stay alive just long enough to even hope and pray for

a new beginning, whatever that beginning may bring?

 

The Happening, written

and directed by M. Night Shyamalan (of Sixth Sense, Signs and The Village),

is one of those films where after seeing it, you won’t be able to speak – but

your mind will have a million questions. Basically, what the f**k is happening?

 

This

movie is scary, for real. Not the blood-and-guts, lose-your-breath kind of

scared; but “this-sh*t-could-really-happen” scary… “think about how Tupac

prophesized about his own death” scary.

 

We

begin the movie right in the middle of “the attack” – a pure and gentle breeze,

blowing through Central Park in New York. Dogs are frolicking and people are

sitting reading and conversing with friends. All of a sudden, something is

wrong. But what?

 

It’s something

you can’t put your finger on, and then your mind goes blank.

 

Cut to

a high school science classroom, where Elliot Moore (Mark

Wahlberg) is eagerly teaching his class the importance of being

interested in science. You might want to develop an interest in science, not

just because of the hunk teaching, but because it could save your life.

 

In the

school, his best friend Julian (John Leguizamo) teaches next door. M. Knight does a

wonderful job early on in letting us know that they are tight like brothers.

The dialogue between the two and their students is refreshing and vibrant. They

are passionate about their students, their friendship and later on you see,

passionate about their women.

 

They

say ‘good men are hard to find’ – but good men ran through The Happening – and all happen to be in the Midwest where the

initial attacks occurred. After news of the attack makes its way to the school

classrooms, Elliot, his wife Alma (Zooey Deschanel)

and Julian with his cute daughter make plans to travel to PA for some away-time

with their families.

 

The

plan gets detailed and they’re left in the middle of nowhere to survive. But

what’s happening, you ask? No one knows, but people are dropping dead. This is

where the story moves from a wide view of what’s happening to a narrow view of our

heroes and their survival.

 

Watching

the movie, I couldn’t help but think of my own urban upbringing. You were

either the person who ran to crowds, asking what’s happening, or you were like

me, walking in the opposite direction. Which one are you? a part of the crowd

trying to survive or are you one who can make it on their own?

 

Crowds,

science and devastation all play very important roles in The Happening, but the scariest part of this film is in trying to

find an answer.

 

I’m

still wondering if this is a movie worth seeing… or should you just let this

one go? You have to make that decision on your own; be a part of the crowd or

go it alone.

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