Thursday, August 26, 2004

The Village

I got to the cinema and we saw The Village. All I can say is – wow. Go and see this film if you haven’t already. It’s a must to see it on the big screen because you really need the immersive experience of fantastic sound system and big screen to get the most from this. If you’ve seen any of Shyamalan’s other movies- Sixth Sense, Unbreakable or Signs- and enjoyed them, then you’ll love The Village. I’ve just seen it and its very fresh in my mind but I’m tempted to say that this is the best thing he’s made. The performances from Joaquin Phoenix, William Hurt, Adrien Brody and Bryce Dallas Howard (who was apparently a “surprised” Who in How The Grinch Stole Christmas) were all superb. The latter in particular turned in a really fine, convincing performance, but for my money Phoenix was outstanding, the best of a great bunch. What really got me about this movie is the stillness of it all- Joaquin Phoenix’s character was very calm and self-contained (a bit reminiscent of Bruce Willis in Unbreakable) and the atmosphere of menace was expertly crafted. There are even a few jump-out-of-your-seat moments, and the scares are really made by the sound and music. I’ve got to say that I love this film. The whole premise impressed me and the film is well paced, well acted and brilliantly directed. Shyamalan is a force to be reckoned with- I’m eagerly looking forward to his next project.

Going to see the film, I knew next to nothing about it- I try not to hear too much about upcoming films because reviews and hype tend to spoil my enjoyment of them. All I knew was this- there’s an isolated village surrounded by woods where monsters live. That’s all you really need to know- go and see it for yourself and enjoy. It’s a film to savour, so make a little time for afterwards to sit quietly and muse it all over. It’s just fantastic. A real treat.

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