Love: Ivy and Lucius
These two are the heart of this movie (along with Ivy's father), and they are a demonstration of Shyamalan's ability to craft strong characters beset by extraordinary circumstances. Ivy is brave, but still experiences almost crippling fear. Lucius is passionate, but has trouble expressing that passion. Their story unfolds slowly but elegantly, and the climax of emotion and wit that is "the porch scene" will forever be one of my favorite scenes in cinema.
Not So Much: The Final SequenceDon't get me wrong. I love Ivy's line "There is kindness in your voice. I did not expect that." The way she wins over Kevin and the final scenes in the village are well done and necessary to the story at hand.
But after the reveal of Noah as the Creature, the movie feels a little . . . flat. The emotion of the journey has been played out, and we (like Ivy) are a bit numbed and in shock from the chase through the woods. In hindsight, I think the reveal of Noah should have been held back a few more minutes to add emotional weight to Ivy's success.
Love: The Chase in the WoodsThis scene is like a modern take on the Little Red Riding Hood tale, with a little color swap for flavor. And it's so well shot that even knowing how it plays out almost beat for beat (years after my last viewing), I still get creeped out by it. It keeps the tension just right and brings back all the right elements from earlier in the movie (Mr. Walker's line about rumors of creatures, the game the boys play on the stump).This is Ivy's final triumph on her hero(ine)'s journey; retrieving the medicine for Lucius is essentially a given at this point (another reason why the following scenes feel a bit tedious).
Love Yet Not So Much: The QuietThis movie is so quiet that the first time I watched it I missed half of what happened. This isn't a loud movie filled with action sequences and rock music. The score is almost unnoticeable, here to undergird the story rather than lead it. The dialogue is often whispered or spoken in a normal conversational manner so that it's clear no one is trying to be heard in the back of the theater.
This adds to the artistry of the film. It draws you in close to these characters so you can learn about them intimately. But if you aren't prepared for this, you'll lose not only much of the film, but much of the experience of the film as well. It took me a few viewings to appreciate that, but now that I do it's one of my favorite aspects of the film.
Love: An All-Star Cast that Doesn't Act Like ItThere are some fairly big/recognizable names in this movie. Bryce Dallas Howard. Joaquin Phoenix. William Hurt. Brendan Gleeson. Cherry Jones. Sigourney Weaver.
Yet most of them aren't in the spotlight for long. None of them are flashy. There's no emphasis on these actors and actresses making an appearance. They're simply the characters, part of the story. It's part of the beauty of this film. It doesn't try to be a Hollywood blockbuster. It simply is itself: a character-driven story with heart and hope. And that, ultimately, is why I love The Village.
*(Yes, I will be doing Inktober again this year. The pictures will eventually make it to my blog, probably in one or two posts. I'll be continuing my 100 Myths series of drawings from earlier this year, so be ready for lots of mythical figures!)