The 2008 film The Happening, directed by Night Shyamalan, received mixed reactions from viewers. On the one hand, the Indian director has repeatedly pleased with his works (The Sixth Sense, Signs), and the main idea and direction of this film are approximately similar to his early works – reflections on variations of the end of the world, but on the other hand, not to notice inaccuracies , flaws, sagging plot and dialogues, too, unfortunately, is impossible. Everyone made up their own opinion, and it’s up to you to decide whether to watch The Happening.
What is the movie The Happening about?
Strange things are happening in and around Central Park in New York City. One morning, time seems to freeze, people around lose their minds and start doing strange things. Passers-by seem to turn off the instinct of self-preservation, moreover, the obsession to kill themselves turns on, which they do.
First, a theory arises that it is terrorists who release gases that affect the psyche of people in such a complex way. But gradually it becomes clear that what is happening cannot be the work of human hands.
We see the development of the story from the point of view of a young couple with minor relationship problems. They go with friends and their daughter to their parents in another city to wait out the danger. But the friend’s wife lingers in the city, and on the way her husband decides to separate from the company, worrying about the fate of his wife. He promises to find Elliot and Alma, to whom he leaves his daughter Jess, but as soon as the hero enters the city, he immediately becomes a victim of a strange environmental influence and commits suicide.
Now these three people – a young married couple and the child of their friends – are trying to understand the reasons for what happened in order to be saved.
The meaning of the film The Happening
The whole film, the main character, Elliot, a biology teacher at school, is trying to figure out the reasons, building theories, but almost all of them revolve around the fact that it was not people who organized these horrific events, but nature itself is fighting people like that.
Quite quickly, he realizes that the environment reacts to large crowds of people, and terrible events are preceded by a strong wind, probably carrying substances that affect people’s minds. The main question remains – from what exactly does the threat come. Elliot even tries a couple of times to talk to plants and trees in order to win them over, but there is no certainty that he was heard.
At first, trees are suspect, because city parks have become epicenters every time, but misfortune happens in the field, and the biology teacher understands that not only trees, but all representatives of the flora are opposed to people and wage war.
This is precisely the main message of the film: people are too consumerist about the environment and nature. They do not think about the consequences of their actions when they litter, when factories and huge factories release poisonous gases into the atmosphere, kill animals, build cities on the sites of fields and forests. For all these atrocities, nature decides to punish humanity. Or rather, as one of the scientists in the film said: “A tree cannot change its habitat, because it changes its habitat around itself.” If you kill people, give them at least a demonstrative lesson, then they will understand their mistakes and treat the environment more carefully and respectfully.
It is also interesting how the main characters did not die. By the will of fate, the three of us, having lost all their companions, Elliot, Alma and Jess find themselves in the house of an old hermit who does not know the news from the “big world”, and she does not want to listen to guests about the approaching danger. Perhaps this was her undoing. She was exposed to nature and killed herself in front of Elliot while his wife and Jess were in the barn opposite the house. Between this building and the house there is an audio message, a pipe through which the husband and wife begin to communicate. At first they lock themselves in their quarters, but then they feel the need to face the terrible moment together. There is no longer any certainty that they will be able to escape, because the main character has just seen the impact on just one person. Alma and Elliot go outside towards each other and meet safely.
Elliot chalks it up to luck. It is possible that the substance dissipated before they went outside. But in this picture you can see another meaning: the director shows that real feelings are love, caring for others can defeat any problem, even of this magnitude. Maybe it was the feelings that flared up with renewed vigor that became the shield that protected the main characters from certain death?
The meaning of the film’s ending The Happening
The finale of the film takes place three months after the events described. Alma and Elliot adopted Jess. Moreover, we see how the girl takes a pregnancy test, and it turns out to be positive. Prior to this, Elliot had told other characters several times that his wife didn’t want children yet. Now, from the news received, both spouses receive real happiness. This picture confirms the version that truly strong and sincere feelings are the main strength of humanity.
But the very final scene in a city park in Paris, where the same thing happens as at the beginning of the film in a New York park – people kill themselves again.