Yesterday a friend of mine told me how disappointing he thought that The Village was and how bad it was and blah blah blah, he pissed all over this thing. But I myself had only watched it the one time I dragged my mother to see it when it came out in theaters. So I decided to see how I felt after a few more years, a few more hairs on my face, and some more acquired knowledge of film. I just finished watching an copy and these are my sentiments of said film.
I was four years old when my mother bought me my first video tape and I saw the my first live action film (not counting Godzilla movies of course). Needless for me to say, that film was what did for me. You could have stuck a fork in me right then and there. And ever since, I've been following and pouring my heart, soul, and brain into film. So I say to you, with eighteen years of film scrutinizing, The Village is an extraordinary piece of film making and a true experience. All you need to obtain this outlook I have captured is to sit back, open your mind, and un guard your heart.
In this film, we see every single person, both cast as well as crew especially, working in their absolutely finest hour. Putting their A games aside for the A+ edition of themselves. The first thing that got me was (what I suspect) the use of natural lighting. Roger Deakins, who is a very frequent collaborator with the Coen Brothers, is the guy you want for this kind of movie, and he proves it very successfully that no one else could do this. Or low key at the very least, using the shadows to bring the Film Noir element into play and really make things juicy and dark. He really tries to do something different in this one and succeeds admirably in my opinion (which we know I consider close to fact). The second thing was the wonderfully used score by frequent collaborator and artist James Newton Howard. As well as the talented violinist Hilary Hahn. Creeping in and ushering our emotions at just the right times to just the right places Mr. Howard and Hilary really do the job over. They grabbed a well deserved nod for best score at the Academy Awards.
M. Night really tries to a different approach to this one, his use of the sound recording for one, with visceral sounds, heart beats, high pitch decibels and the simple breath that leaves a body. You get a solid hour of just getting to know the village, it's people, Adrian Brody's penchant for giggling. Every performer is steeping up the way they do what they do is this movie. I'll tell you this, if Bryce Dallas, Joaquin and William Hurt can't nab performance nod's from the Academy, then you can't do it. I'll take a bullet in court that at the end of this movie, you don't think at the very least, Bryce Dallas Howard is as good an actor or better than her father is a director.
I really felt treated watching this terrific movie unfold before my eyes. Night grabs the little things and soft nuances that bring such a quaint village into our lives and make it a reality. He doesn't cop out to petty director's quirks. You meet this person with no real introduction, you meet this party or that person with no dumb close up, or "I'm the star I want it to happen this way." You can tell the cast really gave themselves to this project and trusted their director totally. If he would have moved a few scenes around towards the end, he would have gotten a much more effective film, and I'll always stick by that shit. Almost as if he has a uncontrollable urge to "twist" his endings, like a drug addict, or nymphomaniac. The end and secrets seemed rushed and slapped together ending. Maybe if he constructed it differently, the credibility of this movie would not have been ruined. Even Ebert, who was extremely offended by this film's ending, admits, "...In fact, that when we do discover the secret, we want to rewind the film so we don't know the secret anymore." I agree with why people felt betrayed and got a whole "Enough's enough with the one-trick pony shit M. Night." But if you really sit down to think it out, it makes a kind of sense where in this world, in the beauty of this movie, you can let it go.
And that's the point I'm trying to make. At the end of the day, I saw, actual beauty in this film. And I won't shy away from that. If for the score and cinematography alone, simply watching a scene with Deakins brilliant (and not so brilliant) lensing, and as the violinist and legend Hilary Hahn and Newton Howard release their wondrous sounds, elevating the film. But it's not just those two things, it's the costume design, the set design (and that whole village was really build from the ground up inside and out for that film), the acting, screenwriting, directing, music. All of it, totally on point.
Having revisited this with a difference of pleasure-taking from film, I was severely satisfied and kindly surprised.
Most kindly surprised in deed.
At the film.
At the beauty.
And at the fear.
Munkie most pleasantly out.