The Village

I just watched M. Night Shyamalan's The Village on DVD. I am a fan of M. Night Shyamalan's work. I liked his first three movies a lot. I liked the way he approached the form with the Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, and Signs. I know that other people did not like these movies. I like how they are unlike most Hollywood films.

The Village is the story of an American community in the 1890's. The community is surrounded by an evil that lives in the forest. The members cannot venture into the forest less they upset the truce with the creatures. The story is about some of the younger members of the village who what to go through the forest to the benefit of the Village.

The Village shows M. Night Shamalan's strengths and weaknesses as a director. As is his strength the film is beautiful. It has an amazing performance from the actors. You get the feeling that you really know this place and these people. The moments of tension are amazing. Shamalan brings reality to the whole situation.

The problems are really around the story. The movie moves at an incredibly slow pace. You never get the sense that the danger is real. The characters are afraid of "Those who we do not speak of..." there is something about that fear that is not gripping.

I also have a problem with the way the way the Village is set up. They are supposed to be 19th century utopianists. The problem is that the character do not act like utopianists. It is not until too late into the movie that you realize that they have intentionally separated themselves from society. I think the conflict would be better served if you could see this.

Since this is a Shamalan movie, everyone knows there is going to be a big twist at the end. He does a better job of moving the twist from the very end of the movie. It happens a little earlier in the movie. It just is not satisfying. They give you an idea that something is being hidden, but by the time you find out what it is it feels minor. I thought the twist was going to be bigger.

I feel that Shamalan's weakness is that he is both writing and directing his own movies. The screenplay is where the weakness of this movie is. I would like to see what would happen if he would direct a movie written by someone else. Until he does that Shamalan will not make a movie as good as The Sixth Sense.

I am not saying that the Village is a bad movie, it is just fustrating because Shamalan is not making the most of his talent. He should be making better movies then this. It is a movie that is worth waiting for it to come to cable.


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