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Old (2021)

Duration1h 48m
RatingsUK: 15, USA: P-13, Spain: 16 
Source of storyA French language graphic novel “Sandcastle by Frederick Peeters and Pierre-Oscar Lévy
DirectorM. Night Shyamalan
Writers/ScriptM. Night Shyamalan
StarringGael Garcia Bernal, Vicky Krieps, Rufus Sewell, Nikki Amuka-Bird, Ken Leung, Aaron Pierre, Embeth Davidtz, Emun Elliott
RatingsIMDb: 6.0 by 18,000 people.  Rotten Tomatoes: 50% by 290 reviewers.

Elevator Pitch: Guy and Prisca Capa go on holiday to an expensive tropical resort with their children six year old Trent and 11 year old Maddox. They go to a reclusive beach with Charles and Crystal with their young daughter Kara and Charles’s mother, and Patricia and Jarin. On the beach is a young black man who is recognised as a rapper. It becomes evident that things are not kosher, and this is confirmed when the naked body of a young woman floats into view. Then they see that the children are rapidly growing up and when the grandmother suddenly dies they realise they are ageing rapidly. At least one member of each family has a serious medical condition. Can they cope and what’s going on.

Content: There is sex implied involving two growing teenagers, and we see a young woman strip off and enter the water from the back; later it is her body which floats into view. It is evident that the couple, Guy and Prisca, are on the verge of breakup, to the distress of their children. The various medical conditions suffered by those on the beach are identified – or not – and there is ad hoc surgery involved.  People die, including someone who tries to swim for help and a former child who tries to climb the cliff. There is also a birth but the baby dies. There is a reveal which I won’t go into.

A View: Saw this yesterday at a cinema in Madrid. Went along without knowing who the director was, but as soon as I saw his name I knew what to expect so I was not, in the end, disappointed. Guy, the hero, if there is one, identifies the fact that it is statistically unlikely that so many people would have medical conditions in this small group. But beyond that there are a lot of further unlikely events required to keep the story going, which in the end were too much for me. And the reveal. Well I’ll go to the foot of our stairs!

Additional Info: The film was made in the Dominican Republic at the height of the COVID epidemic. No-one became ill.

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels


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