I decided to watch one of my all-time favorite freaky movies – The Village. I will not spend the whole post waxing philosophical about the greatness that is M. Night Shyamalan. I’ll let my friend Rocky do that for me here, here and here.
For me, pop culture is like dessert. I so look forward to it before it happens and after when I’m done I feel both satisfied and sick from the sugar. With certain entertainment venues, I pick apart the annoying unbelievably issues, continuity errors and character assassinations over and over. (Perhaps that’s why so little of what’s on TV right now interests me. Perhaps I’m secretly afraid I’ll get an ulcer.) But with movies, I tend to simply let them wash over with with joy (unless they suck, that is.) The Village is no different. (not with the sucking, of course, but with the joy…)
So my desire to simply let movies wash over me is probably why I had no idea the surprise that appeared was once Ivy climbed over the wall. Call me gullible, but I really didn’t know. I will admit I wasn’t that surprised (enough hints were dropped that something was not right in Whoville) – but shocked? Abso-freakin-lutely.
But the plot twist really wasn’t what I loved about this movie. What I loved was what it said about human nature – which is why I believe that M. Night is a genius. The idealistic and arrogant idea that we could begin again and have the environment be so controlled that violence would never be considered is so thoroughly, well, American. The premise that we could create a “perfect” world and still be fallen simply reinforces the free will God gave us. Being born into sin but raised without it does not assure utopia. It’s sad, but precisely why Christ had to come.
That all said, I love the cinematography ; it manages to stay interesting and even pretty in a fairly plain location. The characters, some too underdeveloped, are still complicated and fascinating to me. The build-up of suspense is nearly pitch-perfect and I could care less that it’s so manufactured. (I have a dear old friend who despises that in movies while I simply relish in it.) And one moment in particular scared me more than I ever had been (but it’s pretty easy to scare me). And the piece de la resistance: Joaquin Phoenix.
Enough said. (Although I did fall asleep during Gladiator and I don’t think the guy I was with appreciated it. What? We’d been at a Husker game with very cold wind all day, and we’d just had hot chocolate with peppermint schnapps at Laslo‘s. I earned that nap.) But I digress…
Not my favorite M. Night movie. This one is. But it’s a solid second.