Or, conversations with Mel, circa 2002.
MEL: Hello God, it’s me, Mel.
MEL: God. God. GOD!
GOD: Oh jeez, sorry Mel, I didn’t hear you.
MEL: You always say that.
GOD: I never say that. I never say anything. I’m at best benign and at worst, fictional.
MEL: You seen my movie yet mate?
GOD: I see everything. I like the birthday party bit.
MEL: Yeah, everyone hates on that part, but it really got to me when I saw it.
GOD: I’m not sure we needed to see Joaquin Phoenix jump. Seemed to only over-emphasise the shock.
MEL: I don’t think subtlety matters much to Shyam… Shyama. Night.
GOD: You should have learnt his name by now.
MEL: … yeah…
GOD: No really. Mel. Learn his name. This won’t work out well for you.
MEL: Fuck off God.
GOD: And your temper. You must learn to control your temper.
MEL: I do not have a fucking temper God. I’m a very loving guy. I love everyone. Except the British…
GOD: Yeah, well, I was having an off day there.
MEL: … and the gays, and the Jews, and women, and…
GOD: Tell me about it! Have you read my book? I hate the lot of them too!
MEL: Have I told you about my movie idea yet?
GOD: Lethal Weapon 5! Can’t bloody wait! Those films are brilliant.
MEL: Those films are a case of rapidly diminishing returns. Not even a theme song by Sting can save them. No, I’m making a movie about your son.
GOD: He’s not my son.
MEL: Wait, what.
GOD: Well he is. But he’s also not. He is me and I am him.
MEL: Well, that doesn’t make much sense.
GOD: Think of it as a hand. One hand, but five fingers.
MEL: So five Gods?
GOD: No, one God, but three aspects.
MEL: That’s the stupidest fucking thing you’ve ever said. And you once declared a bat to be a bird. So where were you when he was on Earth? Was heaven empty?
GOD: No, that’s not how it works.
MEL: Well, how did it work? Tell me. And did you really descend to hell for three days?
GOD: First of all, it’s not three days. Friday evening to Sunday morning is at most, a day and a half. Second of all, trust me. ‘Great is the mystery of faith.’
MEL: You always say that. It’s not much help.
GOD: No it isn’t. To be honest Mel, I’m not going to be much help in the future. Things are pretty bleak from here on in. You get to make your Jesus movie, but it’s a bit much. And you really start to cross the line.
MEL: But I’ve already crossed the line. I was disgustingly homophobic back in 1991 and nothing happened. My career went from strength to strength.
GOD: Yeah, well. It’s a different time. I should know – look at my church attendance numbers! No seriously. It gets bad. You have to be a villain in a Robert Rodriguez film.
GOD: Yeah. I know. As I said, it gets bad. Mel, I feel so sad when I think of you. You could have been so good. You had this maniacal masculine energy that made you so interesting to watch and you were/are a truly great action director. But. You’re just not nice.
GOD: But hey, you chose to work in Hollywood, so all is forgiven by 2017. And your president is even more of a loon than you!
MEL: Now that’s a ‘sign’ I can believe in!
Mel, God and Donald Trump laugh endlessly, walking off into their right-wing paradise.
Once again, Shyamalan can’t handle an ending, but at least there is some precedence in H.G. Wells’ sloppy ending to The War of the Worlds. There are genuine moments of wonder, such as the basement sequence and the aforementioned glimpses of aliens, but all-in-all, this a film where Shyamalan is beginning to get bogged down with his religious considerations and curious desire to document adult marriage. Quite why he was being declared as the new-Spielberg at this moment, I will never understand. They are profoundly different filmmakers.
- The Sixth Sense