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The Village

M. Night Shyamalan (hey, I spelled that right without checking!) has always been the master of tension, and The Village, though not his best work (still, and I suspect, always, The Sixth Sense), has long moments where you long for a blanket to cower under.

I'd considered, but discarded, the twist in this tale, basically because I thought there should have been some obvious clues present - but there is a line late in the movie which explains away this absence. Though the explanation strikes me as implausible. In fact, the entire premise - as it is finally revealed - doesn't ring as true as any number of other, genre explanations for the goings on in The Village.

This is an interesting dichotomy - when ghosts and aliens are more believable than what we got. But it has to do with playing within the rules of the world. There are certain conventions one automatically accepts when reading or watching a story set within a fantastic genre, and the events or machinations which break these implicit rules are of an entirely different sort than those which break the rules of a non-genre story.

Anyway, The Village is well acted, beautifully shot and heart-achingly scored (Shyamalan's best looking and best sounding film). Thankfully he also restricts his obligatory cameo to one scene, a handful of words and a reflection in a pane of glass. It's not that he was particularly bad in Signs (in which he played a minor but critical role), it's just that he was outclassed by the acting talent surrounding him.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on February 14, 2005 5:53 PM.

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