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Lady in the Water (2006)

M. Night Shyamalan’s 2006 movie Lady in the Water (2006) is a cinematic bedtime story, and on that basis, I find that it succeeds quite admirably as a work of art.  The film most decidedly isn’t a fantasy spectacular or epic like Fellowship of the Rings (2001). In terms of comparison it is merely a story that a parent might tell a child on one night, or on many successive nights. 
So you don’t get armies or orcs or elves battling it out here, just a few mer-people and one very big, very bad wolf (called a “scrunt.”)
A modest bedtime story like this -- a tale shared between generations -- conforms to a specific and familiar structure, and indeed, Lady in the Water seems to determinedly ape that structure. In fact, the story is based on an original bedtime story that Shyamalan told his children.
In the first case, the film tells an adventurous story, featuring some fantasy and adventure elements (Story and the world of the Narfs). 
Secondly, bedtime stories and Lady in the Water generally…

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