I’ve seen that movie enough times to be able to recite dialogue. But I don’t. I keep meeting people who seem to think that the ability to memorize a movie somehow makes them clever and interesting.
The plot twists have always been secondary to character development in Shyamalan’s movies – at least, until The Village. With The Sixth Sense, I enjoyed a second viewing as much as the first, because knowing what was going on gave me a different perspective on the characters.
With The Village, it seemed like Shyamalan had fallen for his own publicity, and was elevating the “twist” higher in importance than the essence of the story. Instead of a way to reexamine our perceptions, it felt like a stupid gimmick.
When I saw The Village, about halfway through I started thinking, "Jesus Christ, don’t tell me this is actually set in the modern day. If so, these people are idiots or insane, and it’s a really stupid “Twilight Zone” twist. (And not the good “Twilight Zone” episodes written by Charles Beaumont and Richard Matheson – I’m talkin’ Rod Serling, hit-you-over-the-head, completely arbitrary twist.) It’s a shame, because the premise had potential. He should have just forgotten about trying to surprise people, and revealed pretty early on what was going on – because there were strong themes that could have been explored there. (And maybe we could have found out why the Elders decided to banish contractions from their speech.)
Let’s give this movie a chance before dumping all over it, though. It’s usually pointless to try and critique a film based on a trailer.