The Village

The Village is probably the most misunderstood movie since it was released. It is directed by the same man who brought us The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable. I am not going to stop myself from revealing the twist in the movie because that is essential to my take on the movie.

The movie starts off in a village somewhere in rural America. People are dressed up in old colonial style clothes, and there is no sign of modern civilization. There are no telephones, televisions or even electricity. The people of the village eat together and they are basically a close-knit group of people. The rules and decisions are made by a group of elders who are in charge of the village. However, people are forbidden to venture beyond the village into the woods, because those “creatures” are there. These creatures are attracted to the color red, which is why all red berries and flowers are thrown away if they are seen anywhere in the village. These creatures sometimes enter the village, and everyone has to hide in their basement bunkers. The entire village is surrounded with fire-lit torches to prevent the “creatures” from entering.

To make a long story short, there are two men who love the same women, who is blind. One of the men shoots the other man out of jealousy. The man who shoots is also somewhat a looney. The man who is shot is the one who the girl loves. The girl decides to venture beyond the woods to go to some bigger town to get the medicines. So the girl’s father takes her to a secret shed and reveals to her * plot spoiler * there are no creatures. The girl’s father reveals to her that the looney man would actually disguise himself as the creature and try to scare the people so they wouldn’t go beyond the woods. The girl leave the village, encounters another ‘creature’ in the woods, which is killed and eventually reaches a boundary wall of some sorts. Once she is over the wall, we see a car coming. We suddenly realize, with intercuts between the girl and the elders back in the village that * plot spoiler * that these people are actually living in the 21st century.

It transpires that each of the Elders had someone close to them die or been through a tragedy of the worst sorts, so they decide to leave the modern civilization and live in a village, secluded and isolated from the rest of the world. For them, it was a return to innocence.

For one to appreciate this, one has to understand the motivation behind it. The director made this movie in response to the events of 9/11, where he felt that a lot of people were affected by such a huge tragedy, and would have liked to return to innocence. One could read deeper into the move by even comparing the group of Elders to Bush’s Cabinet. However, the director chooses to keep the movie personal and emotional, as opposed to political and brash.

I for one certainly enjoyed the movie the second time I watched it, since the first time I was confused with the twists in the movie and was like “is that it?” Once I saw it again, I appreciated the movie on a whole new level. I also long to escape the myriad distraction of modern civilizations. While I don’t deny the amazing benefits that modern inventions has given us, I would like to distance myself from it at the same time. I see so many people who are caught up in the rat race of trying to make the most money, to get the latest phone, to get the latest car, to follow the latest fashion, to attend the most talked about party and so on. If I don’t keep up with the Jones’ so to speak, I will be left behind. I want to relinquish my cell phone and just live on my landline phone. I want to relinquish my email and live on postal mail. But the situation is such that I am forced into keeping an email account and cell phone.

Don’t get me wrong. These inventions are great and beneficial as well, but I personally would like to do without it. I am sure some of you are thinking, gosh, what a hypocrite, since he is blogging on the Internet. Like I said, I am not against it, I just wish I did not have to live with it.

I remember growing up in Saudi; I had such an innocent childhood. People would be very neighborly, so much so, my brother and I would play with them on the roof of our building every singe day, despite the different ages, religious and racial backgrounds. I see kids today and I see kids glued to the TVs, music that they should not really be listening to, addicted to the internet, young boys and girls dressed up like teenagers and so on. Where is that innocence? Where is that time when people were neighborly? Where is that time when I would see kids playing out on the empty plots? Are we coming to an end of innocence of children or am I deceived? Which is why I love that movie Phenomenon, starring John Travolta. That movie is all about making a return to innocence, and then realizing that you cannot return to innocence without having to endure complications in life! That would have be in a completely different post. Anyhow I got off track, keep this perspective in mind, and maybe you would learn to appreciate the movie as well!

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