Village Idiots


Written on 8/25/2004 11:05:00 pm by sikapitan

Is fear a creation of thoughts or is there a more reasonable reasoning behind it? Could it be that our fears are partly due to society’s ideas and conditioning? That is the premise of The Village, M. Night Shyamalan’s latest offering. The talented director has always been a social commentator of some sort, and his latest feature film makes no attempt to run away from this perception. There have always been depths, layers, twists in his movies. However in this movie, the twist is not all that unexpected, but I believe that this is due more to the expectation of a twist rather that shoddy storytelling. Success can be a double-edged sword. There is no shocking scene like Bruce Willis discovering there’s a huge blood spot at the back of his shirt in The Sixth Sense. Instead, the twist is delivered in stages, slowly revealing itself as the audience breath in the brilliant cinematography the film offers.

The fact that the director chooses FEAR as his central subject is to illustrate the state of the world today, where we live in a global village surrounded by FEARSOME beings that are in reality a creation of our own. The script is deliberately DeLiBeRaTe, with old-school style written all over it. If only some critics would take the time to appreciate the honesty of the way English was spoken decades ago, they wouldn’t have commented on it. The interplay between characters is intriguing, always supplying tidbits on the characters, expanding their personality, revealing their past. However, since this more of an ensemble, the character is not as developed as in his previous films, where the main protagonist’s soul is laid bare. In this film, there’s no main character, rather each character takes its turn. The acting is top-notch, especially the newcomer who played the blind girl.

Make no mistake, this is a scary film. An avid follower of the Hitchcock method of filming, Shyamalan managed to induce tension and suspense without the typical Japanese/Korean/Thai horror hybrids. Simple acts can create suspense if coupled with the right camerawork, lighting and soundtrack. Let this be a lesson to our filmmakers: There is no substitute for ingenuity. The Village is no Sixth Sense, but it’s worth every ringgit.

It has been a while since I’ve written a review. Hope I haven’t lost my touch, if there was one to begin with. Next entry would include a review on Tom Cruise’s The Collateral. Au revoir.

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