The Village

The Village ★★★★½

Film #6 of Gustav's M.National Shyamalan-a-thon

What is the purpose of our existence? We cannot deny the fact that despite all the progress that humanity has made through the ages, it still remains answerless, cureless to the immeasurable crimes committed, wars waged, blood shed, atrocities inflamed, jealousies spurred, angers incited and the illimitable greed for more. The law is unneeded in a place where money is immaterial, sinful acts are unheard-of, races remain undifferentiated, contentedness instilled is paramount, the happiness engulfing is unbounded and the tranquillity embracing is unprecedented. Would we shun away the offer to live in such a place if it cost us only a lie? A simple, harmless lie that would forever change the course of things, bury the detractors and set us on the envisioned path of love.

This is a lie which was conceived by people who endured the insufferable pain of losing loved ones due to petty acts seeded by selfishness, deceit and violence; given birth by those who had the foresight to see where the world is headed; nurtured by those who, through their experience, had attained the empirical cognizance that peace can never be sustained unless they vowed to abstain from the World and its unsavoury ways. The Lie is an effect whose cause lay in the ruthless nature of people always trying to get ahead of each other; who please and quench themselves even it meant crushing the life out of another; who never flinched committing wretched acts; who never felt remorse for the irreparable damage they had done. The lie originated from the fear of witnessing such wickedness prospering while the just were slaughtered and the innocent were deprived. It survives through generations under a veil of secrecy and through the fear of the unknown but its true guardian will and shall forever be the Enlightenment of the Elderly that the world is infected and the affliction has grown beyond cure. The Enlightenment which taught them, there is just one way to live life as it was meant to and that is to begin anew in an insular place where innocence will never be adulterated. The Village breaks its laws to cure the wound caused by a man in love, to a man in love, because of love. And hence has remained faithful of its oath; The World moves for Love.

The collaging geniuses of James Newton Howard and Roger Deakins together combine to create an atmosphere which is truly convincing of the time and place of the village and the woods, effortlessly effusing the glee and warmth of the community and almost simultaneously instigating the fear lurking beneath the skins. The stellar cast come up with articulate performances, but I must admit there are instances where the scenes looked a bit overdone, stagey and bloated. The scene where Kitty Walker proposes her love to Lucius is one such which made me cringe at the wholesome and plainly evident artificiality. Brody’s Noah Pierce roughly protrudes from the otherwise beautifully underplayed, subtle renderings. Bryce Dallas Howard sparkles with her beauty. She delivers a heart-warming performance that strikes all the right notes, emotions and truly gave me the sense of having witnessed a pure, uncorrupted soul through her embodiment of Ivy Walker. Joaquin Phoenix, William Hurt, Weaver and Gleeson are in prime form as they shell out matured performances, serving absolute justice to their roles.

My second viewing of The Village proved to be such a profound experience. I beheld this film as a well-made thriller with a strong, plausible reason behind the twist, nothing more nothing less. But this time around I could see the layers of fabulous symbolism engraved, the metaphors ingrained, appreciate the significance of the concept as a whole, how revolutionary the idea is and the timeless value of it. Night through his successes and misfires has never failed to do one thing right, which is to bring a fresh untouched concept to screen on each attempt. This has stayed true with all the films of his that I have seen until now. The Village certainly has a remarkable concept to convey and it does it in such heartfelt manner.

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