Film reviews

The Village, Dir; M Night Shyamalan, Cert; 18

It’s had something of a panning in the press, by all accounts, this one.

However, occasionally a film comes along that gets torn to pieces by ruthless hacks and as a result, public opinion becomes rather sheep like and the movie is forever labelled a “turkey”. Sometimes however, that movie is actually pretty good.

This is one of those moments.

A lot of the criticism of this film stems from its supposed unbelievability, but hold on just a moment – this is a FAIRYTALE for Heaven’s sake, albeit a rather macabre one, so it’s not SUPPOSED to be totally believable. You’ll be telling me you don’t believe in Father Christmas next…

Anyway, the story is set in a close knit community who are seemingly socially trapped within their own confines because of “those we do not speak of” who are believed to dwell in the nearby woods. These creatures have left the village alone recently, but there exist legends of people who have dared to venture through the woods never to be seen again.

It’s a pretty slow moving film from the start, and that is another aspect that has been condemned by the media. Has nobody ever told these people that some of the acknowledged classics (“The Godfather”, “The Conversation”, “Citizen Kane” etc. etc.) are all slow burners too? It didn’t do THEIR reputation much harm.

I’m not suggesting 'The Village' is on a par with any of those movies, but I’m merely pointing out that, if you stick with it, it does get better as it goes on. There is some fine acting throughout, from a beautifully assembles cast – Joaquin Phoenix and newcomer Bryce Dallas Howard (Ron Howard’s daughter) both do a sterling job but the accolades must go to Adrien Brody for his portrayal of the slightly backwards kid Noah Percy, who has an unhealthy obsession with the film’s leading lady Ivy (Howard).

A few surprises, some magnificent camerawork and despite what the critics say, this is probably M Night Shyamalan’s best work to date. Ignore those heathens! 8/10


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