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Sunday, April 17, 2005

[Movie Watch] The Village

The Village is by M.Night Shyamalan of 'The Sixth Sense' fame. The hallmark of all his movies are his 'twist' endings. Ofcourse, twist endings are nothing new to the books/movie world, rather far from it.

His movies are marked by a deep philosophical 'spin' to it. Yes, granted that, *any* idea in the world can be 'spun' into a philosophical thesis - however, it is very clear for everyone to see the same in Shyamalan's movies.

The very first time, I saw the ads for the movies, it un-equivocally provoked the thoughts of mystery series called Marma Desam - 'Vittuvidu Karuppa' by Indira Soundarrajan and when i saw the movie, the idea was indeed very close.

Now, getting to the movie - it is about a village which is sorrounded by woods inhabitated by blood mongering creatures 'those we dont speak of'. Any attempt by anyone in the village to venture into the woods immediately provokes deadly omen in the village. The village elders are a 'closed group'. The make the decisions in the village.

By the twist of events, there is a sudden need to get some 'medicines' from the 'city', but who would venture to 'cross' the woods to get into the city?. The blind daughter of village's chieftain, agrees to take on this onerous task for the cause of her love.

Can she do it ? how will the 'creatures' in the wood react - forms the story of the movie.

First of all - there have been so many rumors out there, that claim, the story was leaked out and hence Shyamalan had to reshoot the twist ending to prevent the movie from loosing its sheen.

Now, to the twist ending - it was the most jaded twist ending. So before the girl ventures out, the father takes her to a room and says 'Do your very best not to scream' and then the goes on to explain the mystery behind the 'creatures in the wood'. It is just that the village elders wanted to be away from crime committed in the city, and they consciously decided to use 'fear' as the controlling element of crime and they used 'creatures' as a way to instill fear.

Scene cuts over to her actually walking down the forest. and suddenly the 'creature' starts showing up - the girl is stunned and then she realises it is the village-idiot who, not able to stand her getting engaged to some one else, chooses to attack her and this as twist ending frankly does not 'thrill' you. And finally the elders agree that 'love' which can never be shut out of any community can lead to 'crime' and hence move on.

IMHO - with just a couple of edits the movie could have been a super thriller. All they had to do was not to show the chief explaining the mystery behind the 'creature' upfront i.e. before the girl ventures into the woods. When the girl is actually confronted with the 'creature', it would have led the audience to think that the creature is still on the prowl and once the girl 'is done with the creature', if they cut over to the flash back it would have been simply superb.

Anyways, yes there are gonna be some more blogs on the concept of using 'fear' as control mechanism. Keep checking back.

Rating 3.8 out of 5


cosmicblob said...

While I have not watched The Village, I feel that Shyamalan's twisted endings are too twisted - too ficticious - that it makes the viewer totally forget about all the suspense and thrill that the movie sustained till that point.

For e.g. the Signs - its all great until he shows this alien creature - that is so common place and silly and right now, thats the only thing i can remember.

I have not seen much of philosophy in the movies after Sixth Sense.


Arvind said...


which village are you from ? ;)