The Village Redux

I had a chance to screen The Village again this past week. It finally made its way to the Zeotrope after a long absence from the Regal Cinema in Bellingham. I was getting really nervous because I thought its quick box office drop-off may have precluded its visit to the 'Trope. Thank goodness I was wrong.

We have already had discussions regarding how Manoj films stand up on multiple viewings so I will try not to rehash that. You all know how I stand. I just wanted to mention that in some ways I actually enjoyed it even more the second time around. While the scares were definitely lessened since I knew the timing and outcome going in, there was more opportunity to simply enjoy the story for what it is. My mind was active, searching for any little clue that would give away the eventual ending. Here are a few things that I picked up on or appreciated even more the second time around.

  • "The animals!" I finally caught this line for myself. This is when they discover that Noah had the costume. Of course, Noah was the one who had done the killing at the wedding.
  • Which leads right into the wedding. Indeed, you do not see any shots of Noah during the dance scenes. He's absent because he's gallivanting around as the creature.
  • Which leads right into the visit where the creatures mark all the doors with red. It was interesting to see that Noah and Ivy are playing hide and seek just prior to this happening. As such, we get to see a shot of Noah hiding in the closet. Of course, he's right before Ivy's eyes and she doesn't know he's there. Originally, I had thought that this was just a shot to provide some comic relief. However, upon further inspection, I feel that its important that Manoj included this. It helps us to easily identify that this particular intrusion by the creatures is not Noah's doing. It makes a lot of sense in retrospect.
  • Perhaps my most satisfying revelation was in the scene where Elder Walker tells his wife that he wants to leave the village to retrieve medicine for Lucius. On my first viewing it seemed that the wife was seriously over playing this scene, as she utters over and over again "You made an oath! You made an oath!" It goes hand in hand with my major (and only?) complaint for The Spanish Prisoner in the scene at the airport where the mother whines "You've got your dirty fingerprints all over your book. Your fingerprints are all over the book." In both cases it feels like the director is just stretching it a little too much, trying to clue the audience in to an important detail. However, at least in the case of The Village, it became apparent that the character wasn't trying to tell the audience this tidbit of information. She was trying to tell her husband. She was saying, without explicitly stating, that she approved of sending Ivy to the towns. The reaction of the two characters as they cry and fall into each others arms further confirms my suspicions. Just another exquisite slice of subtlety from Manoj.

Bottom line? If you haven't returned to The Village, I recommend it. The Village is waiting for you with baited breath.

1 comment:

Brock said...

Interesting observations Jeremy. I'm going to have to see the film again to pick up on some of these finer details.