Volume 11, Number 11
30 November 2004

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Don't let the evil color be seen. It attracts the creatures. Never enter the woods. That is where they wait. Heed the warning bell, for they are coming." Okay, but what creatures? There are no creatures at all except the fake ones with their stupid red hoods and long, thin nails. (These creatures are worse than the idiot aliens in "Signs.") What am I talking about? Well, unfortunately, I'm talking about M. Night Shyamalan's latest movie, "The Village."
When I watched the trailer for the first time, I thought this could be another piece of film art from Shyamalan, like "Sixth Sense" and "Unbreakable." However, I soon found out that the dissatisfying directing and writing of Shyamalan's last movie continued in this one. As you remember, "Signs" (2002) was composed of nothing but a bunch of meaningless writing. We see the same thing in "The Village."

From the audience's perspective, it is definitely a slow-motion movie. When I watched the trailer, I thought that this would be some kind of horror movie, in which Shyamalan would again demonstrate his genius. Instead, I ended up watching a love story for almost 108 minutes. The trailer and the movie are completely discordant, and therefore I believe the trailer misdirects the audience.

What Shyamalan wants to tell the audience is, "The world out there is very dangerous, and people kill other people. No one has mercy anymore. This world is going out of control."

But, what does the trailer show? "There's this village, with a woods nearby where scary and mysterious creatures exist. There's a conditional peace between the monsters and the village folk, and as long as the proper sacrifices are made, no problem. Oh, and no one can go into the woods, ever." Please tell me, what kind of relationship exists between these two themes? Okay, there is somewhat of an interesting concept here, but the movie fails to support the premise.

The film is set in an unspecified time and place. The village is surrounded by the woods where the creatures live. The costumes remind us of a conservative community living in the 1890's or whatever. The village is isolated from the outside world, and as far as the villagers are concerned, that's for the best. All of the elders came here years ago to escape "the towns," where each had faced some tragedy in his or her life. They formed this community to keep life simple and happy. However, it's only after watching a love story for an hour that we see someone finally venture into the woods on a journey to a remote town to find medicine. Later on, the movie takes a somber turn. I don't want to give away every detail, since that would be unfair to those of you who want to see the movie. But let me tell you, the movie is filled with logical mistakes. I really mean it. When all these mistakes come together, you feel like Shyamalan didn't take the audience seriously. Unlike his previous movies, this one gives you no sense that brilliant editing was done.

Everything progresses so slowly that you actually want to scream in order to add some vivacity. The only strength I found in the film was the story of Ivy, the character who ventures into the woods. The way Ivy risks her life for love (how she overcomes her fear and ventures into woods) supports the main idea of the movie and gives it some interest. Other details simply detain the audience. Have fun and stay cool!

Rating: Directing: 0.5 / Editing: 0 / Story: 0.5 / Acting: 1 / Visuals: 0.5
yildiz.jpg (13273 bytes)

Atilla Karakurum (IE/IV)


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