Text: THE VILLAGE
Task: From Watching to Interpreting and Writing
Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Cultural: Dialogue between Cultures
Intertextual: From Film to Metaphors
Linguistic: Listening - reading- writing
The title of the film is "the Village" and the definitive article "the" strikes the attention of the reader. It must be an important village if it's underlined by that article. So it isn't just a village but "the village".
From the title you can imagine that the film will speak about a community and the word "village" makes me think about a group of people who are closely related to each other.
Right from the first scene you can see that the woods are really important in this movie.
In this strange village there's a community who seems to live in the middle of nothing, and it's surrounded by an endless forest. Everybody knows each other and they are far away from big cities which hide dangers in every corner; moreover cities can be reached just from crossing the woods and as we can see later that represent a huge danger.
They lead an extremely old lifestyle and they exclude technologies from their daily routine. The people who created this village transmitted a sense of fear for the woods to other generations. They have told them that there are dangerous creatures among the woods and if someone crosses it he will be killed by them. Moreover they say that colour "red" is forbidden because it strikes the attention of the creatures ("those who they don't speak about").
The life of each person is strictly connected to the lives of the other people in the village but the main characters are three: Lucius, Noah and Ivy. It's through them that village's routine will be shaken. Noah is affected by mental problems and he is different from everyone else; in fact he isn't scared about the woods and noises that come out of there; one day he actually went into the woods and took some red berries to Ivy, and even if she is blind she recognized the forbidden colour and she got very angry with Noah. Quite the opposite Lucius asked Noah to let him see the place of berries.
During the film Lucius falls in love with Ivy and she loves him too. Noah is upset by this event because he has been loving Ivy since when hi was a child; so one day he decides to kill him with a dagger. Lucius doesn't die but his situation is truly serious. Ivy is in really bad shape for that and she asks the council of old people for permission to cross the woods and have medication.
After a long discussion her father, one of the "elderly men", gives her approval to go. After that he explains her that they have created the village to escape the cruel world which has been surrounded them for a long time. Ivy understand that there are no evil creatures and she has just to pay attention to physical obstacles (such as holes in the floor!).
Noah, who is really disappointed, follows her into the woods and he's determined to kill her; but the situation changes and in the end Noah falls into a deep hole and dies.
Then ivy reaches the road and thanks to the help of forest wardens she can get medicines for Lucius. Finally Lucius can be saved and ivy will keep the secret of "the village" safe.
Just considering the title you can understand that this film is full of symbolic things. People who created this village were tired of evil society that populate the world. As a matter of fact they decided to create it because they all suffered the consequences of cruel people (for example someone killed the sister of one of the "elderly people"). They decided to escape the real world to live in peace and harmony, but in my opinion the fact that they made people very scared about something is a bit contradictory. However at the begin they didn't imagine that sorrow and nasty things would have reached them there.
One of symbolic things presents in this film is colour red which means passion, blood, death and fear; actually they use this colour to represent evil creatures and to make inhabitants scared of.
Creatures symbolize the society out of "the village". Everybody should be scared of them and above all they must stay far away from them.
All the people keeps old values and this symbolize that old society was the best way to live and there weren't pain and angry as now. As a matter of fact technologies has been abolished and the people of this community are always together. Another symbol, to me, is " love" that is important to make things happen. We can also consider envy (or jealousy), one of the Seven Deadly sins, as a big factor in this story; it's well represented by Noah and it will take him to self-destruction.
Also images are important to understand sense of the film; they are all surrounded by an endless fog that wraps the village and makes the woods even more terrible. The atmosphere is tense and dark during all the film and it makes you lose in that world.
Colours are sober and natural except for colour red the "damned colour". In opposition to red they use yellow to represent light and safety, I guess; in fact guards that have to warn people about creatures' attacks wear yellow cloaks.
You can also perceive this dark atmosphere from sounds that director has found among a lot of different choices. They are all anxious and have got an intense rhythm to keep the viewer in suspense and highlight surprise.
This thriller isn't certainly obvious and its rhythm is fascinating; also the story line is pleasant and it hides an upsetting truth.