The Village (2004)
Running Time: 107 minutes
Directed by: M. Night Shyamalan
Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Bryce Dallas Howard, Adrien Brody, William Hurt
The Village tells the tale of a quiet and isolated village in Pennsylvania where the residents of the village made a pact with the creatures from the surrounding woods that they will not enter the woods and the creatures will not enter the village. The pact has remained intact for years until Lucius Hunt (Phoenix) asks to cross the woods to enter the town for medical supplies. Animal carcasses then begin to appear around the village causing the elders of the council to fear for the safety of the village.
I think what made The Village such a great film to watch is the hint of mystery and thriller that M. Night Shyamalan had created throughout the film with the addition of a love story and the idea of humanity and innocence. The storyline was captivating and from scene one, audiences are introduced to the life of that of The Village. The colors and texture of the film from the setting to the costumes helped set the tone of the film – gloomy and at times menacing. The cast was stellar from the main characters to the supporting. It was surprising how M. Night manage to attract so many of Hollywood’s big names to sign on for the movie, from Brendan Gleeson to Sigourney Weaver to Adrien Brody to Michael Pitt to Judy Greer and the list goes on. Shyamalan also did a great job in selecting some of the rising stars – Jesse Eisenberg and Bryce Dallas Howard. Everyone gave a solid performance and helped bring the film to live and added the flairs and personality to each of the character. In particular I was amazed by Brody’s portrayal and it reminded me of Leonardo DiCaprio’s portrayal of Arnie Grape in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape. I would have wished to see more of Joaquin Phoenix in the film for that he stole every scene he was in. Moreover, Howard who at first did not seem to be the leading lady of the film slowly emerged to be quite a presence on screen.
Overall, the film was entertaining and fun to watch. It’s definitely one of M. Night’s best works. I would recommend this to those who are fans of M. Night’s work and to those who are looking for a film with hints of mystery and horror.
Rating: 7 out of 10