Sunday, June 28, 2015

The Village (2004): Putting Your Fear to Good Use

Imagine almost everything you know in your life is suddenly revealed to you as a lie by the man you trusted the most. This is what happens to Ivy Walker (Bryce Dallas Howard) in The Village, written, directed and produced by M. Night Shyamalan. The man, Edward Walker (William Hurt), her father, who she looked up to as a trusted leader turns out to be the most cowardly man in the village - a mock 19th century village he created with a group of peers who had all experienced devastating personal losses through acts of violence in the outside world. He is so cowardly, in fact, that he allowed his beloved daughter to lose her eyesight rather than risk taking her into the outside world to seek modern medical treatment. 

Ivy, unlike her father, puts in a request to the elders to pass through the forbidden forest and risk being killed by the people-eating monsters (resembling the big bad wolf of fairy tales) to get the medicine her beloved fiance, Lucian Hunt (Joaquin Phoenix), needs to survive an infection brought on by stab wounds inflicted by the distraught and confused village idiot, Noah (Adrien Brody) who is jealous over the news of Ivy and Lucian's engagement. Earlier in the movie Lucian is denied the same request in hope that Ivy's eyesight could be corrected and Noah's mental problems could be alleviated with the proper medicine. 

Ivy's journey through the forest alone with her imagination (after being abandoned by her two terrified excorts) is probably one of the best examples of human strength and bravery to ever be put on film. Even though her father revealed the truth that the monsters were fake, her mind couldn't let go of the possibility that her father was wrong. Perhaps she lost faith in her father's word when he admitted the huge lie. Perhaps it was just the fact that she was a blind girl alone in the woods! Still, she overcame great physical and mental obstacles by using her greatest fear, the loss of her beloved soul mate, Lucian.

Human beings can overcome any fear with the proper motivation, usually in the form of an even greater fear.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I thought I had seen this movie, but I think I had only seen the last few minutes as I passed through the room where someone else had it on. The ultra fake 19th century way of speech was annoying, but now I understand the relevance after seeing the whole movie.

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