Today I rented “The Village” which is written by, produced, directed, and starred in by M. Night Shyamalan. What a mistake I made.
First let me say this: Although I find it quite tacky that he just has to star in every movie he makes, I have been a big fan of all three of his prior films. The sixth sense was generally liked by all (myself included, so I wont explain why i liked it). His others have all had sort of “mixed” receivance. I will tell you why I like each one of the latter films.
Unbreakable: The storyline for this film is truly unique. Perhaps geared towards the target market which I fall smack in the middle of, this movie brings the likeness of hero vs. villain to light with an intentional comic book relatedness. I really liked this film for two reasons: (1) – It is a creative idea. (2) – It was pulled off very well. The characters develop fluidly, so you relate to them easily. But more impressive is the fact that this film really is able to “suspend belief” for the audience. Similar to the way a theatre audience is able to watch a play. A theatre audience “suspends” belief by looking past the fact that they are watching other people on a stage. The theatre audience almost unconsiously goes (mentally) to wherever the play is set. This is a much more difficult thing to do with film. You, the audience, typically will not feel “a part” of a movie you are watching. Maybe it is just for me, but I felt like I was a part of this movie. I cant explain how or why, but it is done in a fashion where I have myself believing that I could be a super hero. That it is in fact a real possibility for a normal man to have some sort of super human capability. Of course this is not the truth, but during “Unbreakable” I almost was convinced.
Signs: Almost everyone hated the movie Signs. I thought it was great. I liked mainly because of its writing. Many would criticize that aspect specifically, but I really thought it was well written. It ties together every loose end with some tidbit of information from kid-kulkin’s book that he buys during the movie. For example: “Why cant the aliens get into a boarded up house?” was a common critical point. But Shyamalan answers this before it was ever asked. It is read from the book that “They concentrated wholly on intellectual development” and not physical. There are plenty of examples, but every minor detail is given a specific reason. I liked that.
Secondly, I liked it for its own hipocracy. Specifically religious hipocracy. The entire plot of the movie is based on a faithless preacher regaining his belief in a higher power and a presence of “fate” or something like it. Now, this is odd because almost all religions say that “God created man in his own image”. The preacher fully believes in this god when the movie ends. The odd part is, if there is a god, and he created heaven and earth, and created man in his own image, who created the aliens that just invaded his planet ? It couldn’t possibly be the same god who created man. He wouldnt destroy his own image. Would he? For me, it spun me into this deep thought process of “Why?“. And the answer simply is…. Because
Then we come to The Village. This movie genuinely may be the worst movie ever. I give it the fact that it is another creative and unique concept for a film. His message is clear. But it is absolutely too clear. He spells it out for you to the point of boredom. But the movie quickly jumps from one gear to another, without even allowing you the time to draw to that conclusion. It just blatantly screams >:O it in your face before you have the chance to reach it yourself. So, that really frustated me. More over, by the time the movie does “climax” the viewer has all but lost interest by the complete boldness for which his message is conveyed.
I am sort of being vague intentionally so as not to ruin it for anybody who may want to see it, because it has just recently come out. Draw your own conclusions.
Swing and a miss Mister “Night” — in my opinion.