In the Dark

Good Night, Shyamalan

The Happening
Produced and distributed by Twentieth Century-Fox and UTV Motion Pictures
Written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan


The star of M. Night Shyamalan’s latest film, The Happening, demonstrates once more how unaccountably loathe producers are to give their boom microphones top billing.

During the showing I attended last night, the boom mike kept playfully piercing the top edge of the screen.  After ten minutes, I left the auditorium to talk to the theater manager.  “We tried lowering the screen’s top mask line,” she explained, “but it cut off most of the actors’ heads.”  I returned to my seat resigned to put up with this assault on my always willing suspension of disbelief.  Still, I took heart, reasoning that the nuisance would surely disappear as the film went on.  Directors constantly review their films as they shoot them to correct just such problems.  But no.  The microphone or, to be more accurate, microphones, kept bouncing into one scene after another.  One was muffled in furry fabric for outdoor recording.  Another had turned red perhaps from embarrassment.  If the scene had dialog, a boom mike appeared.  This would have been intolerable but for one thing.  Mr. Bouncing Mike was giving the liveliest performance in the film.  Indeed, I would...

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