Friday, November 19, 2010

Defending The Village

Everybody always seems to jump right on top of the M. Night Shyamalan hate bandwagon and it seems that the trend started when he released his film called The Village. You see, back when this came out everybody was already a little Shyamalan crazy after he directed three great Hitchcockian movies Unbreakable, The Sixth Sense and Signs. When The Village preview was shown it was marketed as a horror movie and I remember seeing the trailer and being really creeped out by it. I mean, just look at it… doesn’t it look like a horror movie?

When people when to the theaters to see it… they came out angry, disappointed and let down. The general gripe about this movie was either it was too boring and nothing happened or the twist ruined the film. I’ll admit, I didn’t like the twist but I thought the rest of the movie was pretty good. I was one of the few people to ever thing that this movie was not only scary but also very well made. I didn’t like the twist… I thought the film could have been better if they took it out. I stood by M. Night and defended The Village and I’m here to say that I still will defend it. I just watched it yesterday and I realized that this is a very misunderstood film and probably one of M. Night’s greatest movies. The problem was how it was marketed and that’s what let a lot of people down. Sure, there are some that wouldn’t have liked it no matter what but I believe the trailer’s lie had something to do with it.

I will not deny the fact that this is a very boring movie but it has to be for good reason. You see, this film is a drama and NOT a horror movie. Sure there are ‘monsters’ but are they really monsters? I believe that The Village is a drama in disguise because Shyamalan has such a profound appreciation for psychological horror that he incorporates little snit-bits of it in his films. Think about it for a minute and try to forget how it was marketed… there are hardly any scenes with the monsters in the woods and when there are, it’s very brief. The majority of the film is character interaction and love and I think that’s what this film boils down to.

Lets look at the characters in the movie because that plays the most important part of this film. The problem of this film comes about when Lucius asks the Elders to go to the towns to receive medicine, however he is asked by Kitty to marry him. After declining her offer she uncontrollably wept. As times goes on and as Lucius defies the rules by crossing over into the woods he captures the eye of Ivy Walker, sister to Kitty. The two become engaged and become something more than just friends. Noah, who appears to have development problems, becomes jealous of the courtship between Ivy and Lucius and stabs Lucius and nearly kills him. It is such a powerful love story that shows two people breaking the boundaries of this town. It seems as though this town is a sexually repressed village and the marriage of Ivy and Lucius is almost seen as blasphemy.

Everybody complains about the ending and everybody feels as though it was a copout that everything was made up but here is where the story gets really sad and throws the whole tone of the film into a somber state. When you find out the Elders created the town and invented the monsters in the woods, you have to take in mind what happened to these people to make them want to live in the 1800s. The picture of the ‘Elders’ standing in front of a counseling building shows us that all of them had a great loss in their lives because of the hatred, violence, greed and lust of other people. It must have drove them mad knowing that there are people out there that will do terrible things to others so they decided to force themselves to live in a time where things were simple and quiet. They made up the monsters to keep their secret from their new family because they didn’t want them to feel the pain brought on by people in modern society. It’s a heartbreaking tale of how far people will go to preserve their innocents.

It’s also interesting to note the color in which the Elders have chosen to be “the bad color,” which is red. It’s a discussion for a completely different time but it’s rather poetic to see them choose a color that stands for love and passion and like I mentioned before… this seems like a town that has repressed their feelings from one another. Maybe it’s because they realized that nothing good could come out of loving somebody so much.

All in all, I can’t chance the minds of people who will hate this movie no matter what but realize that this film was one of M. Night’s best. It was greatly misunderstood and misleading. It’s not a horror movie by any means but rather a drama and character study. It taps into the psychological nature of simple societies and it shows that, if given something truly special, M. Night can turn it into something great. I think The Village proves that he is a good director but he was just given bad films to direct. The Village may not stand the test of time but hopefully people will see it for what it really is and maybe people won’t drastically underrate the film.


HorrO said...

That was a very good look into The Village. I am not going to say it was Night's worse movie (Nothing Happening), but I don't remember liking it. Not sure when this movie lost me. Maybe it was the ending. I guess if you view it as you did, not being a horror movie, it isn't that bad. I don't think it is better than Sixth Sense, or one of my favorites Signs.

Spooky Sean said...

I just didn't like it, because I wished the monster was real. Certainly not his worst film, but he did make The Happening, so that's not saying much.

Anonymous said...

I loved the movie then, and I love it still now. I understand that ppl went in thinking it was a horror flick and monsters blah blah.. That was the fault of marketing . However, once you got passed the monsters you saw the reason why "they were created" why it made sense to invent these "creators" as a way to secure that nobody would leave the town and find out the truth. You also realize that this is a movie about love, a love so strong that a blind girl is willing to sacrifice everything for the man she loves. and how BRILLIANT was the fact that ivy was blind?.. so she could leave the town and still keep the truth of it, bc she would not be able to see what really was outside of their town. and that score! the most haunting thing I have ever heard. Seriously ppl are just sheep, they want action and stupidity and just ignore a masterpiece like this... a beautiful movie wasted on stupid ppl

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