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Most people hated "The Village" when it was first released. I don't understand why. It's well directed, well acted, beautifully shot with haunting music and a plot twist you don't see coming a mile away. I am not sure what all of the backlash was about. I think M. Night Shyamalan is just plagued these days by people who are out to get him. They have decided, in their own minds, that he's a one-hit wonder and they are rooting for his failure. However, Shyamalan continues to be one of the most daring, adventurous and imaginative directors working today, despite the fact that his last three films have been destroyed by movie critics. "The Village" is not his best film. In truth, it might be my second least favorite of his (that's right -- I am one of those crazies who thinks "The Sixth Sense" is actually his worst film) that I have seen. But, it's still a good film. A very good film.
The film takes place in a small countryside village, where things seem somewhat normal, and very regimented. Townspeople are warned not to enter the woods surrounding the village because they are inhabited by bizarre mythical creatures who don't like being disturbed. The town elders (including William Hurt) warn about the dangers of leaving the village for the outside world. A young blind girl, Ivy (Bryce Dallas Howard) falls in love with a young man named Lucuis (Joaquin Phoenix). Their relationship is challenged when Lucuis is injured and she must go into town for medical supplies. And, when the creatures in the woods start entering the village, they break the truce that has kept the town together for so many years. Sigourney Weaver co-stars as Lucius's mother and Brendan Gleeson as August Nicholson.
What drives "The Village" is that trademark M. Night Shyamalan tension which he brings to all his films. When the creatures first venture outside of the woods and into the village, it's a very frightening moment because, like the people who love in the village, we don't know what they will do. The performances are universally strong, most notably Bryce Dallas Howard, who is radiant as Ivy; and Joaquin Phoenix turns in a strong supporting performance. Everyone does a fine job, including Adrien Brody in what turns out to be a pivotal role. The score by James Newton Howard and cinematography by Roger Deakins are also top notch.
The twist at the end of the film is appropriate and sad and very unexpected. At least, it was to me. I thought M. Night Shyamalan handled all of this material very well and really produced a picture that forces audiences to look past their comfort zones into a place of unfamiliarity. "The Village" is not his best film, but it's a fine picture and certainly better than most of the garbage that people see these days. 8/10.
- added 06/18/2008, 05:55 PM
I'm with you on this one. I loved this movie.
- added 06/18/2008, 06:01 PM
Then I'm against both of you.
well acted, I'd say most performances were
passable at best. The twist, although unforseen,
was stupid. Damned stupid. It really didn't change
any aspect of the story or reveal anything that
was hidden before. It's hard to call it a twist,
it felt more like an akward circumstance. All in
all, it was boring.
Not terribly enjoyable,
sort of an oredeal to sit through. I agree, it
looked excellent and I enjoyed the score; it was
everything else I had a problem with.
- added 06/18/2008, 06:36 PM
I'm in the middle on this one. While I didn't
think it was bad, I didn't think it was all that
great either. I do agree with Ginose though, the
'twist' was kinda dumb even if you didn't see it
coming. I would rate it a 6/10 I guess.
- added 06/20/2008, 02:33 AM
This one was OK. Better than what most people
make it out to be. It had it's moments but the
weakest one that I've seen so far. Haven't seen
Lady in the Water, Happening or unbreakable yet.
7/10 for me.
- added 06/23/2008, 05:22 PM
I thought this was a good one. It was marketed
wrong as another scary movie and when more became
revealed to the viewer it turned into a societal
commentary more than horror. That's probably why
a lot of people were turned off by this, but if
you watch it without the hype as a horror flick,
it will most likely be more enjoyable. FYI
Nirrad, Lady in the Water wasn't very good in my
opinion but Unbreakable I felt was really good.
The former was a sci-fi flick, the latter a
pseudo-superhero movie and I thought it was a good
movie. The Happening looks really good to me.
- added 07/15/2008, 08:35 PM
OMG! This movie was lame! I've put kids to sleep
with it! This abysmal bore goes in the crap pile
with " Those We Do Not Speak Of." BLAH!
It did make a funny bit for Scream 3 though, glad
I watched it so I understood.
"But if you talk about those of whom we do
not speak, have you not spoken of that about which
we do not talk."
" Do not speak of
that of about which we talk of not speaking...
- added 07/28/2008, 01:12 AM
I thought it was a great movie, one of his best
actually (one of, not the best). I
disagree about the twist being completely shocking
though, as I saw it coming by the halfway-point.
Still, very enjoyable movie. 8.5/10.