The Village

The Village

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

Exquisitely acted, shot, and scored. Hard to find much fault (except for how Shyamalan handles mental illness, but we'll get to that in another review) until... well. Let me put it this way:

When Unbreakable ended, I wanted to see a sequel, because the world and its characters were so satisfying.

When The Village ended, I had a lot of lingering questions about the fate of its inhabitants, and wanted to see Shyamalan deal with the consequences of his rug-pulling.

("Hell yeah, bring on the next one!" versus "No, you can't end it there!")

The Village is clever as a cautionary tale about fear and how it's used to control people, particularly those in hermetically sealed environments. But the modern day twist drains M. Night's ultimate gated community allegory of its subtlety. It doesn't retroactively make the rest of the movie any better. I understand the messages he's sending about the different horrible reactions people have to trauma, and the frankly insidious ways the Elders manipulate their children in order to protect them. I felt like he should have explored the fallout behind the Elders' ill-conceived decisions, and how they could possibly expect to keep up this charade for more than a generation. The Elders are confronted with their mistakes, and choose to continue down the same path for as long as possible. A story about a group of cowards who terrorize children and get away with it. I guess that's an accurate enough parable for the American government and religious nutcases!

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