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  • Writer's pictureEllis Barthorpe

Old ★★

M. Night Shyamalan

Starring Gael Garcia Bernal, Vicky Krieps, Rufus Sewell, Thomasin McKenzie, Alex Wolff

When the trailer dropped for M. Night Shyamalan's next feature Old, I like many was full of excitement. The director is known for his twisting narratives and explorative concepts, and this promised to be that on a whole other level. As a group of holiday-makers venture to a hidden beach, they begin to age at a more rapid rate than humanly possible. The chaos that ensues is intertwined with crumbling relationships and deteriorating illness.

Unfortunately it did not quite deliver what the trailer seemed to promise. The concept is not explored in as finite a detail as you'd expect and the plot seems to be driving towards that inevitable twist before focusing more on the crippling relationships.

The cast are full of vigour and engross themselves in every physical piece of acting required, but a humdrum script adds a melodramatic element that is not especially welcome. Rufus Sewell is one of the standouts, giving a few more dimensions to his character Charles than the script perhaps suggested; though his fall into chaos is perhaps a little under-cautious.

After just a few moments on the beach, you forget to root for anybody as no times has been given to build bonds, and although still gripped in some more tense set pieces, an audience are left to laugh in places that I doubt the director intended (at least they were in my screening).

With great concept unfortunately does not come great story. Plot holes and histrionic performance galore, this mystery much like it's characters, will presumably not age gracefully.

Old available in cinemas now

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