Monday, August 02, 2004

"I fear for your safety before that of all others..."

Duncan and I saw M. Night Shyamalan's newest hit this weekend, The Village. I enjoyed it very much, and remain a loyal student of his artful suspense and story telling. People who see fit to deride this movie have missed it's subtler points.

Set in rural Pennsylvania circa 1897/1997, this is the tale of a small, isolated village menaced by, what would be fairly labelled, the bogey man. At first glance, this tiny village seems near picture perfect, but never forget that Shyamalan is the master of the twist ending, so beware idyllic perchance as he winds through this story. Just don't look so hard for what he is trying to do that you miss it entirely.

Above all, this story is, at all levels, a love story. There is sometimes a fine line between what is love, and what is fear; what is bravery and what is denial. This story is as much as story of boundaries and crossing them as it is the story of the human yearning to secure a safe place in which to prosper.

If your worst fears had painfully come true, how far would you go to protect your family? How much would you sacrifice to make a perfect world beyond the horrors that had ripped your heart open, a place where the only crimes you fear can never occur?

In the search for such a life, driven by the desperate need humans have to protect that which they love at all costs, a small group of resourceful people have based the fabric of their existence upon the very best of intentions. But not all good intentions have the best results, and they soon learn that life remains full of sufferring and pain regardless of what they do to hide from it.

I am a sucker for love and films about it are no exception, especially when the theme is so intricately woven through the plot. This story is dependant on all manners and understandings of love, and as they say... true love is blind.

M. Night Shyamalan has said he always wanted to write the line "the world moves before love and kneels before it in awe" into a movie. And now he has.

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