Old

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S1: This ad free podcast is part of your Slate plus membership. I want to tell you right now, I see. Shyamalan created Fabara. I am. What’s in the box, your.

S2: Are you blowing down your.

S1: Hello and welcome to Slate spoiler specials, I’m Allegra Frank senior editor here at Slate, and I’m joined today by Nitish Pahwa Web editor at Slate. Welcome, Nitish.

S3: Thanks, Allegra. Great to be here.

S1: I love how scripted we both sound like each other, but it’s OK. It’s early and we are young and haven’t had our coffee yet I think is fine because today we are spoiling something for the olds in that we are spoiling old. The new film by M. Night Shyamalan. It’s not really for the old. I just wanted to make a pun about being old. You’re tired when you’re old and I was very tired watching this movie Nitish. We both saw old the week it came out. It came out about two weeks ago. Now it is the first M. Night Shyamalan movie in a few years and this one has already reached meme status. And why do you think that is? Is this movie good? Is it bad? Is it just meme worthy? What was your takeaway before we jump right into it?

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S3: Yeah, that’s a very good question. I think in general, M. Night Shyamalan is among the major directors, especially those from like Azera, like the late 90s, who are still around. So Shyamalan is just one of the most memorable directors consistently because his movies are all, I mean, just frankly insane and just weird and like a very unique way, like I think it’s a very like Shyamalan specific way in which they’re weird, like not just like the twist factor, but also the way they the ways they are written, the way they’re shot, the way people talk, the casts of these films. So, yeah, it doesn’t surprise me at all that this movie became a meme. And I don’t think the is necessarily because people liked it. I think it just became something very fun to clown on at a moment. That is not that funny.

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S1: Not that funny. It’s it’s interesting like that people are finding something from this. I mean, I think M. Night Shyamalan like, yeah, people like to clown on him. I’m thinking back to, like, the happening. Right, which I know almost exclusively through Meems or Avatar. The Last Airbender, like M. Night Shyamalan has made over a dozen films at this point, and they mostly exist at this, you know, at this juncture to to mock. But I will say I will admit, Nitish, that this is definitely one of the one of the more watchable Shyamalan that I have seen. I didn’t hate watching it, you know, like I didn’t enjoy the movie, but I enjoyed watching it. Like I was thoroughly entertained the whole time. Do you feel like that’s fair at least to say.

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S3: Yeah, yeah, I would definitely agree. Yeah. This is definitely one of the least bad among the bad Shyamalan films for sure. Like it was still very well shot. You know, there are a lot of like fascinating just like visual cues and angles. It was as usual, like a very good cast that made the best they could out of a very strange script. And yeah, I mean, the story and premise, you know, as a meme worthy as they become, we’re at least like it was interesting, like there were a lot of like weird things on the way to telling that story. But the overall story arc was at least like, OK, like like I’m invested in this a little bit. You know, I do want to see, like, how this pans out.

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S1: Yeah, right. It’s like there is something slightly compelling about this beach that makes you old concept where it’s like, OK, I’m in it. I want to find out why the beach is making you old. Now, whether or not we really find out the answer or a satisfying answer, let’s dive into let’s let’s spoil it for the folks here at home. OK, so there’s kind of a lot that happens. I will just shout you out for going through and outlining the plot for us, because as you told me last night, you’re like there’s so much more crap that happens in this movie that I remembered.

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S3: It stacked stacked with this plot. Yes.

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S1: It’s there’s a lot of plot and it’s all brutally explained for you. Great detail. So are our stars, I would say, are a family of four, led by Gael Garcia Bernal’s character, helpfully named Guy and his wife Preska, who is a Vicky Crêpes who I really liked in the Phantom Thread or Phantom Thread, which was a good movie. Yeah, this one.

S3: She was amazing.

S1: Yeah. And there are a couple it’s clear that there’s something going on in the relationship. They’re definitely on the brink of divorce or something. They have some secrets they are not sharing. And at the same time they’re trying to have like one last good go of it by going to a resort with their kids. And those kids are a little boy named Trent, who I think, yeah, he’s six years old and his older sister, Maddox, who’s eleven years old. Can I just mention we meet them in the car, like on the way to the resort. And Maddox is singing the song and she’s like actually a good singer, but I have no idea what the song is and it’s very melodramatic. She’s kind of just singing very loudly along to the radio in the back seat. It kind of made me uncomfortable because I cannot imagine singing like belting just in the car in front of strangers and my family like that. It was a little weird.

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S3: Yeah. Yeah, that’s that’s a really good point. I forgot about the and I think does that song ever get called back at some point in the movie.

S1: I think a. It does, it actually does. So there is something I mean, listen there, we love a red herring, but I think Shyamalan is like not in that stage of his life anymore, that he will do anything that he cannot fully explain. So they get to the resorts and the first thing that happens is they’re given a special cocktail. Well, at least the adults are the kids are not, which is its own thing I have to think about now going forward. But the adults are given a little drink and then they’re all taken to their rooms. So, you know, it’s like very dramatically there. As soon as they get out of the car, they’re handed some very fancy cocktails, which to me, I was like, this is dope. Like, I just was like, this sounds this is a great resort. They already got my drink ready and

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S3: not out of immediately chuck that

S1: right. I’m like, okay, cool, thanks. So soon we meet some other people at the resort and I we can split this up. I want to tell you about the ones that I hated the most. So we meet we meet the manager who’s played by Gustaaf Half-Mast. And there’s a very diverse array of characters in this movie, like it’s literally from all over the world, it seems like, from multiple continents.

S3: Yeah, definitely.

S1: Yeah. And he has a nephew named Idleb, which is a fascinating name. Idlib Frerking annoyed me. Don’t know what the point of Idlib was like. A frickin like. Just talk about a plot device. We’ll get to Idlib really later. But he just was there to, like, be best buddies with Trent. Trent talks about how he wants to live next door to his new best friend, Idlib, Idlib, later on. And they’ll both pay their mortgages at the same time. And I’m like, this is a weird conversation. And Idlib just like develops a code that he shares messages with in the code with Trent. And I just was like, why is his name Idlib? Why where are his parents? Why does he almost never speak? This character makes me very uncomfortable. Am I being too harsh on this child?

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S3: No, no, no, no, no. Not at all. I don’t think yeah. No, it was just very random all around because. Yeah, like the very white resort manager is his uncle. And then you just have this young boy named Limpia. Yeah. There’s no background in him other than I think he tells at one point like, oh I don’t really have any friends. And then Trump offers to be his friend. And I think that’s emblematic of a thing that really bugged me about the movie, is that all these characters have to go because there’s are just so many of them. They all have these like very weak, like defining traits that they kind of hinge on for like the rest of the movie. But then they don’t ever really get, like, developed or delved into more in a satisfying or even just like in a way that makes the character a full character. Like, as you said, he’s as we’ll talk about more later, he’s basically just a very thin plot device and that the child star deserve better.

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S1: Yeah, I don’t really think this is going to help his career too much going forward. PORKED. OK, some other some other resort guests. We have Jaron and his wife, Patricia, who we meet when Patricia is having a seizure in the middle of breakfast or lunch. It’s a kind of disturbing scene. But again, it sets up some future developments, of course. But we see Patricia sort of seizing on the floor. We find out Jarrin, her husband, is a nurse, so he takes care of her. It’s shocking, but it’s a quick, quick little moment. And it seems as though this is just meant to show maybe something is awry at this resort, which, of course, it is. But turns out Jared and Patricia will come back later. And then the other the other real couple that joins them on the way to this beach that makes them old is Charles and Crystal. Charles is a doctor, crystallises young trophy wife. No offense to her, her main defining trait is that she has a calcium deficiency, which is a legitimate thing. I am not familiar with this thing, but turns out it is real. And they’re there with Charles’s elderly mother, Agnes, and their little daughter, Cara, who’s probably around Trents age. And you can tell Krystal clearly loves her daughter, but Crystal is like hot, blonde, tiny lady and can. As you know, she’s a six year old and she is not a hot blonde, tiny six year old, so she already her mother is like, Kara, stop eating everything, which is problematic. OK, so the next thing that happens is they’re all like, you know, the Gustaaf is like, you guys should go to the private beach. You need something to do. Go to the private beach and Nitish, please tell us who is the one that drives them to the private beach. Because I personally was like, damn, you gave yourself a role.

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S3: I was very amused by this. But the resort truck driver, that’s literally how he’s listed in the credits, by the way. His character is like truck driver or something. But the resort truck driver who takes them to the private beach that the manager suggests is none of them. Director M. Night Shyamalan himself.

S1: Yeah. Yes. M. Night Shyamalan, like he’s always in his movies. Right. Like he always has a role. But this one at first I was like, oh, you’re making yourself just a driver. But he he is actually crucial figure. He talks a lot.

S3: Yeah, yeah, yeah. He literally, like, drives along a key part of the plot that I’m getting to the beach, the gold.

S1: So, yeah, he’s the one who takes them to their eventual undoing, if you know. What was your reaction when you saw him? Were you like, oh my God, it’s M. night? Or were you like, oh, God, it’s and I

S3: it was it was kind of in between. Yeah, I think it was just more like amused. And I like it was kind of just like, oh yeah, of course. But it’s like still like it’s just like kind of funny to just see him so blatantly, just like insert himself like the I enjoyed it. I enjoyed it.

S1: And then it turns out we will see him again.

S3: Exactly. Yes. And not the last we see. Yeah. I’m not.

S1: So at this beach we already have a sense that things are going I mean other than the fact that, like, the trailers make us, you know, tell us that this beach makes people old. But we also know something is not right here, because even before we first, like everyone gets to the beach, there is this guy sitting there and this woman, it’s just him and this woman. And the woman goes skinny dipping in the ocean and is never returns. And we find out that she dies when she is seen again by the people on the the beach. This time it’s her floating dead body in the water. And we find out that she is just a woman and collaborator, a friend of this man who’s sitting kind of catatonic on the beach named midsize sedan. And everyone calls him midsize sedan. He almost never has a real name. Madox is like, oh, my God, that’s midsize sedan. He’s a rapper. I love him. I could not I could not take that seriously. I was like, please find another name even just call him Soudan. I don’t know. This is drive that drove me nuts to drive you nuts.

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S3: Yeah, there is there are very few like rappers that young people would know and be familiar with who would have a name like midsize sedan. Yes. That, that clearly is a is an M.. Special.

S1: Yes it is. Seriously the as silly as they midsize sedan, they could not grace him with a different name or a real name like he couldn’t at least be like, my name’s Terrence. But you know, you might know me as midsize sedan. I mean, I guess I respect him not wanting to tell them too much information, but

S3: keep up the enigma, keep

S1: up that enigma being Mouth’s midsize sedan. So after they find this floating dead body of this lady, this naked lady midsize sedan is like, I got get out of here, this is fucked up. But then not only does she die, but Charles’s mother, Agnes, also like basically as a heart attack. They think it’s from shock at seeing this dead body. But very quickly, after they find the dead body, Agnese dies on the beach. It’s like, OK, now we have two deaths. This is clearly not OK. So, you know, Jarrin, nurse Sharon, the only really useful person on this beach, and Patricia freak out. They want to keep the kids, you know, away from the deaths. They don’t want them to also get upset, which is weird. It’s like clearly there’s two dead people on this beach. There’s not much this beach is very small. You think the kids aren’t going to notice, but whatever.

S3: Right. And also. Yeah, the beach is small also, you know, there’s no one else on their other than their families, like even if you take the kids to one corner of the beach, like everything’s still in view.

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S1: Yeah. Like the kids and kids run around, like, come on,

S3: what are you

S1: what are you going to do, throw these bodies away so they don’t notice? Like the little girl will notice her grandma is not there.

S3: Yeah, but yeah, I would assume so.

S1: But the thing that is shocking at this point is that all of the kids like we don’t get this reveal for a bit, but Gerren and Patricia and then Guy in Prisca, you see that they’re looking at the kids. We don’t get to see the kids, but they’re shocked. They’re like, oh, my God, what’s going on? And you hear the kids off camera saying, wait, why are you looking at me like that? Mom and dad, what’s wrong? And it turns out finally we get the reveal, the kids look older and. Wow, were you surprised they were old, dear?

S3: Well, I’d I’d read the book that this movie is based on going into this. So I was not totally surprised. But it was it was interesting how they arranged, like the timing of those developments, like first just the straight up deaths and then like the weight. But it’s more than just weird deaths.

S1: It’s yeah, it’s aging. It’s aging. The worst death sentence. And so these kids look slightly older. It’s not like they’re old people because it turns out after people do some math of like they’re trying to get into this cave to escape, they’re like, there’s something wrong. Let’s get out of here. The only way to get out of this beach, they turn out, it turns out, is like through this cave. So eventually they do some math. And it turns out that every half hour is a full year. So at this point, the kids are probably like, you know, three years older or something. They haven’t been there too long at this point. But so, you know, kids at that age, it’s clear there’s there’s some differences and they don’t stop. And with the adults, it’s a little less obvious. So the kids are really the first sign of something going on here. But very soon after, there’s another there’s another big sign other than Agnese dying, too, because she was already old. So clearly, it’s like, OK, she was reaching the end of her life here. But Preska turns out her big secret, she has a tumor. And we were told it’s benign. The kids freak out, obviously, because mom has a tumor. But first it was very small and then over the course of the time, they’re there. It’s huge. This was honestly, I freaked out at this moment because basically Charles and Jaron are like, OK, we got to operate like this tumor. You could see it from the outside. Right, like it was protruding out of her. And, uh, can you describe what happens here? Because it was extremely disturbing with the beach beach side surgery.

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S3: Yeah. So Charles, being a doctor tries to get around to surgically removing this tumor with the help of the nurse Geron. And he starts going off kind of in a daze and talking about movies and actors in general, like, I’m pretty sure Marlon Brando comes up at one point. Yeah. And everyone’s like, what are you doing? You you have to do this surgery sun kind of like, you know, direct him back to the operation at hand and when he tries to cut open the stomach. But what they find is because of this rapid aging, all the other body processes go much faster as well. So her wound heals very quickly. So they have to cut open the wound again and stick their fingers in it to keep it open. And so then they can go in there and remove this just massive tumor, which because of the fact that, again, all bodily processes are accelerated thanks to the speech, has just grown massive, like it looks like a dinosaur egg or something. Oh, it’s so big. Yeah. And then they just set it down on the sand and her wound heals very normal. I was like, wow, that is the most painless tumor surgery has probably ever happened.

S1: Yes, it was, it was nuts. They like pull it out of her, her and. It’s scary and then she’s fine and like all of their skin regenerates very quickly because they’re aging so quickly. So, yeah, basically, like the wound just it’s nuts. It’s truly nuts. So that’s one nutty thing that happens. Yeah. People keep blacking out because they’re trying to leave the beach through this weird cave, which is confusing and stupid because they all keep trying to leave, which why would you keep doing that if like three people blacked out and now. OK, so that part, the tumor part was upsetting. But here this next part is honestly my least favorite part of them. So as the kids are aging, Trent and Cara are are now like, I don’t know, like 16 or something. They’re older. And we cut to them in a tent and they’re like, oh, playing with each other. They’re still like clearly six year olds, Ray, like they are not it’s not like they’re intellectually developing to dramatically like there’s no way

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S3: they have not gotten like an adolescent level education. They’re right. There are literally overgrown children. Yeah.

S1: But their bodies function appropriately. So they’re like clearly exploring each other in this tent. And turns out next time we see them, Kara’s stomach is huge and she doesn’t really know what’s going on. She didn’t experience all the pains of pregnancy. So instead, her mom is like, oh, my God, Kara, what’s what’s wrong with you? And Kara’s like, sorry, I just got really hungry, Mom. And then everyone else knows, oh, my God, she’s pregnant. So suddenly, Cara, who was six years old, like three hours ago, five hours ago, is having a baby. It is honestly the most disturbing thing to me, because I cannot stop looking at these kids and see six year olds, even though they are physically older. It was horrifying. She literally goes through labor. Her daughter, her baby is stillborn. It ruins her. It wrecks her because of course, it does. It is the worst part of this movie.

S3: One of it’s just it’s so much just learning in trauma, all in the space of, what, five minutes?

S1: Yeah.

S3: Yes, yeah. I don’t think the human psyche is equipped to handle that, even if it has rapidly developed.

S1: Right. And like a Trent and Cara, how could this not permanently scar you based off that. Right. Like there that’s grief and you’re going right. Like even though they’re aging, you know, a year, every hour, you’re still going to grieve something like that for a very long time.

S3: Exactly. And they’re already like figuring out the fact that you’re on a beach that is making you old and curious. Grandma is dead. We just found another dead body. There is just this huge procedure. There is already so much stuff going on here. The I mean, me personally, if I were to go through all this, even just like the first couple parts of it, I, I probably would already be driven by that point like this. It would be very, very hard for me to handle. And so undergoing a tragic childbirth and death in that time period while you’re also just learning about sex and pregnancy. Yeah, it’s I don’t know. These characters have some very special fortitude, it seems.

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S1: Yeah. It’s I mean, clearly, like they’re not there’s nothing in this movie is realistic every on your first show. So it’s special fortitude is exactly it. And yeah, they can’t, they can’t completely beat the beat the beach because Trenton Maddux’s sister discover like a book or something, some scrawls of someone else who had been on the beach explaining that the rocks are the are the things causing the aging which is stupid but whatever. Like that’s the beach makes you old. But actually it’s the rocks that make you old, which Jesus OK. And so while they’re figuring this out, who do we see? Tell us who we see. While Trent is like looking up at these age aging cliffs,

S3: there looks to be someone watching from the cliffs. They’re very blurry. They’re in the distance. It’s one person. They have binoculars, but someone’s someone’s definitely keeping an eye on these folks.

S1: Right, and it’s M. Night Shyamalan. Oh, wait, we don’t know this yet, I guess, but I’ll tell you now to really find out it’s M. Night Shyamalan. I’ll explain later, though, why. But it’s M. Night Shyamalan. Regardless, there’s someone watching from the clips. Listen, it’s spoiler specials. All bets are off. So I’m spoiling this.

S3: Yeah.

S1: OK, so now we’re getting into the part of the movie where, like, everyone’s starting to die, Charles, schizophrenia is getting the best of him. He keeps asking about some movie that Jack Nicholson and Marlon Brando were in together. And then I was getting obsessed with trying to figure out that answer. I forget what the answer was.

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S3: Doesn’t he, like, randomly announce it at one point?

S1: Yeah, OK. Apparently it’s the Missouri breaks. Who even knows what that is?

S3: What? Seventy six Western Brandon Nicholson. Well, we got a stacked cast here. John Williams score. Arthur Penn directing. Wow.

S1: Yeah. Wow. Harry Dean.

S3: This is the biggest publicity coup this movie could have gotten.

S1: I know. Yeah. Four years later and now people are actually paying attention. Very strange. Very strange that he was obsessively thinking about this way.

S3: Oh my God. OK, wait, so this is from the Wikipedia for Missouri Breaks. OK, so Shyamalan explained the characters question was based on a conversation we had with his own father, who also has dementia. And so this is what Shyamalan says. I’ve never seen Waziri breaks. It’s from a dad who actually has some dementia and he would not stop talking about Jack Nicholson and Marlon Brando, this movie that they were in. And I was like, Dad, I’ve never seen it. And he goes, Jack Nicholson, Marlon Brando. You kept going on about it. I was like, Dad, I’m putting this in a movie if you keep talking about this. And he did.

S1: OK, yeah, OK, like

S3: quite a quite a bit, OK?

S1: Yeah. Wow, that such a I mean, that’s a funny, very personal touch. Wow. I had no idea. That’s very strange.

S3: Yeah. That’s um. I’m yeah. I’m kind of put off a little bit but Shyamalan like if you keep doing this and we put in a movie to your dad who has dementia but anyway.

S1: Yeah, it’s, it’s so weird. Wow. That’s a fun detail. People might not have known because we’re learning that’s together to you, but. Wow. So he adds in that part and eventually I hope this is not reflective of M. Night Shyamalan Stad because Charles then kills at mid-sized sedan. He doesn’t trust midsize sedan from the start. I think he’s racist personally, but also because of this dead body. He suspects that midsize sedan actually killed her and so he then stabs midsize sedan. So everyone is very afraid because Charles is clearly, you know, he’s he’s on his own path here and they can’t trust him anymore. So they they leave him somewhere else. They take his weapons away. They’re like, OK, we can’t let this guy kill all of us. But then there are a bunch more deaths anyway because that’s how the beach goes. Jarrin, who I thought was the most pragmatic, less the least stupid person on this beach, decides to try and swim away from the beach in the hopes of getting figuring out another way out. But I’m like, Jarrin, you’re going to be like so much older by the time you get anywhere, like a mile to my I don’t know how fast you swim. He says he was on the swim team in high school. Jarrin, you’re like fifty now. This is not going to work.

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S3: And it’s I think it’s also worth mentioning I don’t know if we’ve brought it up yet, but obviously, if you’re on a beach that makes you old, you’re probably going to try to escape. But these characters do try to do the alternately throughout. And whenever they do, they end up just like blacking out and waking up on the sand again. So it’s so this is Gerrans. We’re trying to find another way out through just swimming as far out as possible. But it predictably does not work for Porgera.

S1: It’s very sad. And so his wife Patricia is alone now because he was like the only person who really knew how to take care of her. With her epilepsy, she dies from a seizure. Cara also tries to escape because she feels like she has nothing to live for anymore. So she’s like, whatever, I’ll get out of here for us. So she climbs up the cliff, but it looks like she’s going to get to the top, but she falls. It’s horrifying. Trent watches this happen. So not only has he lost his child, but he’s lost his love. It’s awful. Poor Cara dies, falls to her death. And then Crystal, who has lost her mother in law and her daughter and basically her husband, she is suffering from her calcium deficiency. And Trenton Maddox, basically, they go into the cave to see if they can at least make it out because they’re young and fresh. But Crystal is hiding in there now as well because she doesn’t look great because of losing the calcium. And she is so scary looking. She is like bent out of shape. She kind of looks like a spider or something like her arms and legs are all twisted. I didn’t know lacking calcium could do this to you. I guess her bones are just jelly or something. So she’s really angry and tries to kill Trenton Maddux, but they eventually succeed, she adds. As Nitish you wrote, she’s shrivels up and dies. That was one of the most disturbing images.

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S3: Yeah, this and again, this is very, I guess, typical of like a Shyamalan movie in the year. He’s presenting characters with, like, these very serious and awful medical conditions. But then just like the way he I don’t know, just completely I think he exaggerates a lot of them. It’s like a very weird extent or doesn’t really show all the different aspects of these conditions. And so it just becomes hard to take the characters and then play it all the seriously, like because it’s just so poorly written and portrayed not to editorialize too early on. But I just want to explain why, when it is when we’re talking about these very dire and sad and serious moments, it’s also like the. Shyamalan, so, of course, it’s as ridiculous as possible and

S1: it’s silly, it’s upsetting, but it’s also like, really, dude, this is what we’re doing now. Yeah, it was. Oh, horrible. Jesus. So now we’ve lost a lot of folks because Patricia Jahren, Cara Crystal are all dead. So it’s Guy Preska, Trent and Maddox. So the family and oh, midsize sedan instead, obviously two. And Charles Charles, who they’ve sort of tried to cage away from everyone. But of course he tries to kill Guy and Preska guy has now gone blind. Preska has lost is now deaf in one ear. I’m like, how come you all like were you just set to age terribly? All of you? I, I assume Crystal wouldn’t have had this terrible calcium deficiency had she not been on the beach like and maybe Patricia probably would have been able to be treated for epilepsy and Jarrin wouldn’t have tried to swim into very rough waters. But the fact that guy and Preska both have are losing some of their senses is like, this is nuts. This does not happen. But then Preska manages to stab Charles back and with a rusty knife and kills him finally. So fat is happy. I suppose it’s it’s nuts. I, like Guy in Preska are weird preternatural that whole family is just they’re cursed with living too long on the beach, but also somehow are the only survivors which there are heroes. But I was like damn I wish midsize sedan was still here. I would sacrifice guy in government subsidy immediately.

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S3: Oh yeah. At least midsize remix music. Yeah.

S1: Yeah exactly. He has a talent guy in Preska. I don’t know. They’re annoying. Also everyone in this movie, it’s so interesting. As I said, it’s a diverse cast. Everyone has a different accent. Guy in Preska. They are, they have their strong accents. You know, it’s fine, it’s beautiful. But everything they read for some reason, like they’re acting, it sounds like reading. It’s so stilted. I could not deal with him acting. I hated listening to them speak. But yeah. So Trent and Maddox sit with their their mom and dad on the beach because they’re dying. And, you know, it’s it’s sad I guess. And this is one Maddox sings that song again from when she was a kid. Yeah. Yeah. And that’s pretty sad at this point though. I’m just like can we just get off this beach. I’m so annoyed. Like we already know. We’ve already learned why the beach makes you old. It’s a really stupid reason I’m so tired of this beach. I’m understanding this is how you keep the budget real low with this one kind of boring setting.

S3: He said,

S1: get us out of here.

S3: Yeah, it’s like I felt watching the movie, like I’d personally aged a few years just just sitting through it. No, not even near the beach. I’m seeing it on screen. I still feel the effects a little, but exactly.

S1: It’s aged, you know, on this aging beach. I know. I feel older talking about this, too, at this point. Trying to animatics are the only people who survived. They’re like in their forties or something at this point. And this is another tough moment because they’re like, you know what, we could try and leave Bonalbo. We just stay here together. We can try and leave. But first, before we do that, you want to build a sandcastle, which I imagine is a reference to. And I would like for us to conclude shortly with you talking a bit about sand castles, which is what old is derived from a graphic novel, French graphic novel. I assume either this is straight from the book graphic novel or it’s just a reference to it. Do is this how they end by just building a sandcastle or.

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S3: Well, yeah. So the book has all sorts of far different plot turns from this, which I can get into in a sec. But yeah, the sand castle becomes just like a constant motif throughout the book. So all does not end where Sand Castle ends like Sand Castle. The book ends on the beach, but old as we’ll see, still goes beyond. But yeah, I think this was a Shalom’s homage to the book. But just having, like the characters spend what they think might be their last moment together, building a sandcastle. I think maybe for people who’d read the book and saw the movie, it was like looking, oh, maybe it’s like missing. Maybe this is where you think the movie will end. Before I get in my twist,

S1: yeah, oh, my God. I mean, I kind of would have liked that ending. I don’t know. I think at this point actually, I was like, I need someone to get off this beach. I’m so freaking tired of this.

S3: Yeah. Honestly, I thought a great ending would have been just like the family hanging out on the beach.

S1: Yeah, a lot

S3: of unanswered questions, but hey, like they’re happy. So I guess happy ending.

S1: Yeah. Well well, I mean, we’ll see a little.

S3: Did I know how much more there was.

S1: Right. There’s a lot more because I got to explain it all. So Trent all of a sudden remembers his boy, Idlib, and I’m like, God, Jesus Christ, Idlib is going to be the deus ex machina here. Yeah. Idlib had given him a message that he hadn’t decoded yet. Turns out it says something like, my uncle doesn’t like the coral and Trenton Maddox, who, again, as we’ve said, are not there. Probably not as smart as 40 year olds usually are, like, I don’t know, they’re still they were six and 11 yesterday, but they decide, oh, the coral. And they think maybe that’s the way to escape. Maybe the beach won’t affect them and no one will see them if they’re hidden in the coral. I thought that was stupid. I thought that made no sense. Why would why would he your uncle, like, also Idlib saying that was like, did you know they were going to the beach? Why does Idlib rebels info? Why does it lib here. Live here. Very weird. So then though we see Trenor Mattocks just very, very dramatically speeding to get out of this korrell. But Mattocks, we think, oh no, maybe this is the end for Mattocks because she her shirt, she’s wearing this like whispy robe for some reason as she swims and it gets entangled in the coral. So last thing we see for is Trent and Madox trying to free Maddox from the coral. And then we cut to Ammonite, who, as I said before, actually is the one watching them, the van driver.

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S3: And he’s behind the camera.

S1: He’s behind the camera. He’s the one watching them and reporting back. He’s behind the camera deciding all of this. He wrote all of this and he’s watching them. So he is

S3: possible. You know, that reminded me of, um. So, you know, that story about Inglourious Basterds, like how Tarantino himself was supposed to be in Brad Pitt’s role.

S1: Yeah, that’s so funny. What’s the very end?

S3: You know, like originally it was supposed to be the final shot was supposed to be Tarantino looking at the camera and saying, I think this might be my masterpiece like that. That was exactly the same sort of vibe that this gave me here. Like Shyamalan being like, oh, in case in case you forgot, I’m I’m here. And I’m the one making this crazy movie with Twist.

S1: I know. Yeah. It’s like, oh, right. Finch, I wouldn’t take credit for this. I wouldn’t take this much credit for this. Don’t be that proud of yourself, right. Yes. We now spend a lot of time with M. Night Shyamalan because he goes back to the lab. There’s a lab doing research.

S3: He at the resort, right?

S1: Yeah. And he thinks trying to matics have died. So at this point, it’s like, OK, mission accomplished. Everyone is dead. I mean, not exactly mission accomplished, but also. Yeah, like they know everyone’s supposed to die because it turns out Uncle Gustaaf. What, he doesn’t have a real name. It lives. Uncle is part of this big pharma company and the beach is actually a testing site for Métis medications that could potentially treat fatal or other life threatening conditions. So every single adult on the speech has some sort of condition. It turns out like we know, Preska, that tumor. We know that Charles had schizophrenia. We know Crystal has calcium, epilepsy, et cetera, et cetera.

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S3: Yeah, I think it was like at least one person from each family has this underlying condition and that it’s a very long term thing in general, which is which is where the Asian comes in.

S1: Yeah, it’s it’s so silly. But then they they’re so excited because even though everyone died and nothing was solved, at least Patricia’s epilepsy, it didn’t get her for like usually she has more seizures than that, I suppose. But it took a while for her to have another seizure. So it helped. Apparently, the drug helped prolong her life some somewhat. So everyone’s like, whew, we did. Yay! Yeah, it’s a happy ending for them, but then everyone’s like celebrating, there’s new people coming to the resort for their next round. And as those new people are about to take their cocktails, Trenton Maddox show up in, they’re like, don’t do it, don’t drink. And they start shouting in the middle of the resort about actually they’re experimenting on us. They trapped us on this beach and made us old arrest them, come coppers and arrest them. And the police show up and they arrest everybody. Trenton Maddox, fly out. There’s a sad little moment where they’re like, are you excited to see your aunt, who’s now their one real survivor, like their new guardian? I suppose they’re like, yeah, I hope our honor recognizes us now that we’re in our fifties. And she last time she saw us, we were six.

S3: Yeah. Like, it’s going to go back to, like, French elementary school. Yeah. 40 year olds.

S1: Like who’s going to hire these these people, they’re just going to have to live with their on and like now they’re going to age normally. So they still that time I mean Trent already had a child and it’s very disturbing. Yeah.

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S3: Oh, there’s something else we should mention, which is the part of the reason Trent medics are able to bust the resort is from like the scribblings they found. Yeah. You know, about the rocks. So there’s also like a log of like some of the people who’d previously been on the beach, who’d been part of the resort. Right. But then matches up with police records about other people who’d just mysteriously disappeared. Right? Yes. And yeah, like there’s so many there’s so much plot like there there are two hundred other small things I’m sure we could get into here. But it’s unfortunately, the film is not worth the no.

S1: Yeah, that’s true. They have the evidence to back like they just have everything they need and then it end like they see it live again. They’re like yo, ad lib thanks. And ad lib is like I got you.

S3: It’s and you know, going back to the ad lib name like so ad lib is the name of a Syrian city and it is known as like like one of the biggest like battlefields and like the Syrian civil war. So yeah, I’m I’m very interested as to why Shyamalan decided on that name for this character.

S1: Yeah. That is a that is an interesting name. Yeah. Also just an interesting little plot device of a character.

S3: Yeah. So yeah. That’s, that’s the movie about the beach that makes you old as you may have heard about it on social media. So. So yeah. Allegra what’s your final judgment on this.

S1: I thought it was so stupid. I enjoyed watching it because it was like compellingly stupid, as I said up top. But I mean definitely where I left off was like of what is the difference between this and the graphic novel? Like, because I was like, I know this is based off a graphic novel. Is the graphic novel this inane to you or is this just M. Night Shyamalan being stupid? Like, I was like the happening was really dumb. I hated Avatar Last Airbender, but I love The Sixth Sense. I would say those are the three I’ve seen. Oh, and the village I’ve seen the village. I would say I liked this less than the Sixth Sense. Yeah. Which I love. I liked this about the same as the village, which was also not very good, but I found both of those movies very watchable. So the old was very watchable. But quickly, how does it compare to the graphic novel? Is the graphic novel good? Is it worth reading if we’ve seen old does this taints the graphic novel? Is the graphic novel like just the same crap?

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S3: Yeah. So I like the book a lot and I would recommend it if you’re into like sort of spooky short graphic novels in general. I know it’s a very Nitish genre, but it’s a very quick read. The illustrations are great and there are a lot of plot differences between the book and the movie. The book also just has way more characters, which somehow it manages to make work better than Shyamalan even does with just these few characters. But three really core differences. I just say between the book and the film and which I think played to the book’s strengths, are the book takes place entirely on the beach, like there are references, like inside conversations, like a hotel and like other places where they may have potentially come from, like local police department and stuff. But they are all on the. Beach, there are hints as to a broader conspiracy overseeing what’s going on in the speech, like at one point the little boy who becomes Trent’s character says he saw someone watching them from the cliffs and they just dismiss the boy. There is another very disturbing scene in the book where, like, they recognize the hotel, your son. So that’s just like brought up with no introduction. So you assume there’s like a hotel nearby and that the person running Godes has a son who’s, like, they see them running from gunfire, which is. Well, and then it just never gets explained either. And yeah, that’s like the core things. So at the end of the movie, there’s just no actual concrete explanation for what happened under the book. I mean, so basically the way it pans out is there’s still like the racist British doctor in the book and he attacks the character, but he does not end up killing it. None of the characters end up killing one another like the old woman does. But no one goes on like murderous rage, like there’s a lot of conflict. There’s obviously a lot of fighting. There’s a childbirth, but the kid survives. And eventually at the end, like, they all kind of become just more like. Mike loving to one another. They re bond as families and as people, so on. And finally, the last person to survive all this is the child who then builds a sandcastle. And so, yeah, even though it just spoiled the entire book, I would say it’s still worth a quick read if you have access to it, because it is just like extremely well drawn, pretty well told, like not like the best comic I’ve ever read, but definitely a pretty compelling one. And yeah. I like. I think the ambiguity factor makes it so much more of an interesting story experience than knights need to explain literally every single part. I mean, this ending of old reminded me so much of like the Watchmen ending the book. And it just felt like inspired by so many other random different movies, like actually after the screening we went to, I heard people outside talking like, yeah, I saw like a little bit like there might be like Jurassic Park, like over there. There’s a little bit of that. I was thinking like one Pahwa and then there were none like it’s it’s just so much. And the book is so much more simpler than that, which I think is also a strength.

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S1: Yeah. I mean, I’m glad the book is not completely at fault here. I’m also not surprised, I guess like and they would take this pretty decent source material and kind of wreck it.

S3: Yeah. Yeah. Right.

S1: Like if that’s what he did with Avatar, The Last Airbender, you

S3: know, like that I will never, ever see the. I’m sorry. Oh, T-test. Yeah. I’m way too attached to Avatar the show to ever watch the. I’m sorry.

S1: Yeah I know. I watched it as a kind of as a joke I guess like my friend and I who love Avatar, we’re like OK, maybe we should watch this. And we watched it late at night and we made fun of the whole thing, which that’s really the only way to watch this. Sure. Like, I would never have paid money for this thing.

S3: Yeah.

S1: You know, as press, we didn’t have to pay money for old either. I would not do what you want to do with your money. I glad I did not have to pay money for this.

S3: Yeah. I got to enjoy the seats but for like twenty bucks. Amazing.

S1: We did get to sit in really nice theater chairs. So very happy.

S3: Yeah. Yeah. It’s everyone listening. If you want to see movies for free, get the kid those, get those press credentials.

S1: Yeah. Lovely. We’re not hiring right now but uh.

S3: Yeah yeah.

S1: Maybe one day so. Yeah. I mean I guess check out sandcastles if you’re interested in this plot. If you’re not well now you know everything that happened in old so you can have the water cooler combos on Zoome with your friends and tell them everything about the silly movie and they’ll be shocked and you’ll feel proud that you had an interesting thing to talk about because who has interesting things going on these days? Not me. So Nitish, thank you for chatting about the one somewhat interesting thing going on in my life and thank you for suffering through this with me. It was very fun.

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S3: Yeah. Thanks for having me. Had a good time.

S1: Yeah. Yeah. Well I’m glad we found some greatness out of some badness. OK, that’s our show. Please subscribe to the Slate spoiler special podcast feed. And if you like the show, please write and review it on Apple podcast or wherever you get podcasts. If you have suggestions for movies or TV shows that we should spoil, or if you have any other feedback you’d like to share, please send it to spoilers at Slate Dotcom. Our producer is Morgan Flannery for Nitish Pahwa. I’m Allegra Frank. Thank you. Was.