The Village

Thu, Sep 16, 2004

The VillageWell, I think good luck befell me when I got a call from my friend asking me "Do you want to see the premier preview of The Village". The movie is being released across India tomorrow and it will surely be cool to see the movie before the nation does, isn't it cool to be with someone in the close media celebrity circuit (read bollywood here).

And yes, the crowds proves it all, interviews, celebrities, movie personnels, soap peoples, et al. I tried to restrain my surprise at every turn of my movement seeing them all around me. The one and only quick remark I made was while I was on my way to the restroom, to a lady whom I recognize as an older woman character in a soap serial, "You look twice younger in real life". We just smiled with head nodes at each other. Another good thing besides the live movie outside the movie theatre was the other critics, movie lovers who talks about the movie with all their heart. With my friend on my left, my right was occupied by a person who looks like a movie critic, he was muttering something or the other to himself all the time. May be he is reviewing for tomorrow's paper. All along the movie, I ended up talking to him more than to my friend (she was busy with her rushed pasta turned dinner and trying to digest the movie at her own pace and ways), "Oh! that is that, this is this".

Ok, as they say in Hollywood, "Let us cut to the chase". As I had a liking for M. Night Shyamalan's movies, I was all for this one too.

[SIGNS for THE VILLAGE: Do not read further if you have not watch the movie and do not want to spoil the mood for the movie.]

To me this definitely is a nice "story telling". Story telliing when I say means, listen to the story till the it is over and then forget it. He takes a subject and blow it up to gigantic proportion that you are on your seat till the end and when the end comes, "Ah!, That was it". Those are purely my thoughts, but that is the truth, these are movies which you watch for the end to come and never watch again. This is another movie to go for if you like his previous movies like that of Signs, Unbreakable and The Sixth Sense. This guy is good with his twist and concepts for his movie, yeah, yeah, it is on all a similar tune, similar idea but you will definitely love it over and over again. I mentioned to the guy besides me "I think Shaymalal ran out of idea", but he was gone already, running out of the theatres. Hmmm, I think he was running out to write something fast for tomorrow's review.

If you really look at it from a rationality point of view then you are better off not watching the movie. This is a movie that you just watch for the story to keep rolling and yes, M. Night Shyamalan helps you in that, you get involved with his work, the story and you will forget to think rationally till it hits its "Ah!" factor at the climax. Anyway, that is pretty natural to moan at the time of climax. He makes his glimpse appearance with the help of a mirror reflection this time unlike his full person in Signs. This is a movie that if someone tell you the ending, it will be too raw and dry to watch. Should I tell you the story?

It is about a plot or an agreement by a group of people to keep themselves away from the outside world, and live in their world of innocence. Protected by a fear of the woods where a faux character (ghostly) lives and so nobody from the village enters the wood and none from the woods to the village. The year indicated was around 1890 as it was evident from the first scene (the funeral) where we see that year on the tomb. But then it even looked flimsy around the end when we came to know of the outside world being normal; guards, vehicles etcetera.

This time, unlike Signs, though following on a similar genre, Shyamalal have put lots of emotion, a nicely crafted love story between the blind Ivy played by Bryce Dallas Howard and Lucius Hunt played by Jaoquin Phoenix (Gladiator villain and Signs brother-role). Though blind, Ivy was witty and smart and yes more "tom boy". She even shares stories of "When we are married" with Licius even before they told each other their feelings. I have forgotten those few nifty kick ass words at the night scene but they were cool. It sent the whole theatre in peels of laughter. Her sister was funny, came too loud saying she loved Lucius Hunt one day, cried that night and some days later, she fall in love and married a clean guy, a guy who takes so much care not to even have his shirt wrinkled (look and listen during the hugging scene between the sisters at the marriage).

Ok, the Red is the bad, forbidden color of the forbidden creature(s) or the much spoken "Those We Do Not Speak Of" that lived in the forest while Yellow is the color of truce, good color. Ok, his clothings if it were black or dark would make it look like one of the peasants from Rohan of Lords of the Ring, sans that wingy feather at the back. Ah! I forgot to say, "and also without those Claws".

In the twist of the love story, that some-what-mad guy also loved Ivy, but "There are different kind of love", Lucius tried hard to explain to him only to be stabbed many times (ok, ok, twice) at his frontal torso. Then the whole story begans to unfold. You were led to believed that Lucius was the person to go through the forest but then now he is hurt and dying. So, Ivy went to the forest, her father guides her. Because, yes, because her father is one of that person who master-minded all these scary melodrama thingy. See, he even instructed here that the two escorts were to stay waiting at the beginning of the secret road (well, the guys turn away too afraid). And damn, that medicine to save Lucius turn out to be some simple medicines which even the patrol guard knows them so well. The guard escapes the watchful eye of Shyamalal (here he is actually in the movie) while secretly gettiing the medicine for Ivy. Look at the white ladder besides vehicle, Kevin (that is his name, right?) had even helped her climb back to the woods. Simple things were simply overblown.

It would have been much better to leave the secret a bit more of guesswork, like cut that scene where that some-what-mad guy, Adrien Brody, escaping from captivity and cut another scene where he lay dead at the mud-pit. Well, as it was not that way, so it is more like do not read the end part of a Thriller Book as that will spoil the reading. That's it, go watch, grasp the seat handbars hard and at the climax, relax as it were nothing, "Ah! It was nothing".