Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Village (2004)

Ok, for the most part, I've been pretty safe in my movie choices and what I say about them, so I figured it's time to insert a bit of controversy (though, it's kinda mild) into the mix.

I hate The Village.

Granted, this opinion isn't exactly a rebellious one (one look at the Rottentomatoes rating for this film actually puts me in the majority), but I cannot help it.

The film is about a small, 1800's town in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by dark and scary woods, which are said to be inhabited by "Those We Don't Speak Of", who might possibly be a relation to He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named and He Who Walks Behind The Rows. Those We Don't Speak of Are Monsters who live in the woods as some sort of bargain between the villagers. They stay out of the woods, and they will stay out of the town.

Living in the town is Ivy Walker (Bryce Dallas Howard), a blind girl who is in love with Lucius Fox (Joaquin Phoenix), and the film essentially follows their romance as well as the events that lead to Ivy being forced to venture into the woods if she wishes to save the man she loves.

The film itself looks beautiful and the direction is varied and interesting, which is about the only positive things in this film. The acting is generally somber and joyless, everyone seems to have just walked away from a funeral and are incapable of expressing anything other than solemnity. Bryce Dallas Howard is able to inject some sunshine into her role, but everyone else seems so tired and sad.

Plus, the film makes an unforgivable mistake, it lies to you. Now, given that Shyamalan is known for his twists, you're going to expect one in this film, but the problem is that we are instantly established with one fact only to be told otherwise later. I know that there could be an argument made on this, but I'm standing firm. This film lies to you, which is a massive no-no.

In addition, the plot is just dull. Ivy essentally bullies Lucius until he makes some out-of-breath confession of love and instantly we're supposed to care about what happens to these two young'uns, when I didn't give a flying fig. And don't get me started on Adrian Brody as a mentally retarded man, because it's just all kind of ridiculous.

Really, I hate this film. It's so dull, lacking in anything that created a spark of interest inside me, and the film's lie to support its twist pushed it into full blown hatred. It's poorly acted, melodramatic, and franky awful. Don't watch it kids.

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