The film ‘The Village’ by M Night Shyamalan, looks at a series of images which form the basis for portraying and shaping the story. M Night uses subtle symbols throughout the film resulting in the audience making up their own mind about certain events that take place. Using colour as a main centre piece for the film is an effective way of communicating to the audience visually. The powerful imagery is another tool in which engages and speaks to the audience allowing them to interpret the film as they will.This essay will examine the way in which these images and symbols get the message across without the use of excessive dialogue.
It will also look at what the images and symbols actually represent. Colour is an important symbol throughout the film. The symbolic colours that are used are yellow and red. The auteur links two simple primary colours to represent the communities perceptions of good and evil. The elders create the illusion that the red colour attracts the monsters and the colour yellow is the safe colour which protects them from any danger.
This gives the film a strong visual element. These two colours are bright as seen throughout the film and all other colours appear dull adding a greater emphasis to the colours red and yellow. This shows us that M Night does not rely on verbal conversation to bring about the symbols. The red flower is an indication of this.
When we see the two girls sweeping and they see the flower they quickly bury the bad colour in the ground. This also happens when Noah, who doesn’t really understand the concept of colour, picks the red berries from the woods putting them in his pocket.Later on Noah then offers the berries and places them in Ivy’ hand, she does not understand at first, obviously due to the fact that she is blind, until Luscious warns her. “Oh, berries! What a splendid present! ” “Be cautious.
You are holding the bad colour. ” “This colour attracts those we don’t speak of, you must bury it. You ought not pick that colour berry anymore. ” Ivy, Lucius 21:27-21:52. This confirms that M Night is using the colours as a powerful symbol alerting viewers to the fact that colours are symbolic and represent the difference between good and evil.
An important image to examine in the film is when a monster has been spotted within the villages boundaries, Ivy is waiting for Lucius outside on the porch, Ivy holds out her hand whilst in the background we can see a faint monster appearing from the darkness. This conveys to the audience the trusting nature of Ivy, she places an enormous amount of trust on Lucius hoping that he will be there. This also represents an element of bravery because the audience knows that the monster, at any moment, could come and attack her.However, we know that Ivy is not like other women from the village, she is not affected from her blindness. Instead she uses her other senses like sound and touch to compensate for it.
“Are you not angry you have no sight? ” “I see the world Lucius Hunt, just not as you see it”. Lucius, Ivy 28:28-28:38 This shows us that Ivy does view the village differently when compared with the others in the community, however can still see the world, just in a different light. She places trust in the hands of her friends and family to guide her.Symbolism occurs regularly throughout the film, M Night uses many symbols to illustrate not only his ideas but the storyline as well.
The black boxes which are placed in the houses of the elders all contain secrets from their past. This symbolises that The Village is essentially made up on a lie because all the elders have hidden secrets that they want to protect so they can keep the community safe from the outside world and all the violence in it. Lucius Hunt quickly catches on to the idea that there are secrets within The Village and knows that they are contained in the black boxes. “There are secrets in every corner of this village, do you not feel it? Do you not see it? ” Lucius Hunt 23:54-24:04 Once again M Night is adding a visual element to the story thus creating the black boxes into a symbol for secrets.
Another symbolic element to this film is the rocking chairs which are positioned on the front porch at every house. The rocking chairs represent strength in hard times, strength of the human spirit, whenever the characters of the village are feeling weak or anxious they will go and sit in the chair gathering strength which will then help them face the issues they have. “The moment I heard my daughters vision had finally failed her and that she would forever be blind I was sitting in that very chair” Edward Walker 1:02:00- 1:02:10. This confirms that the village characters draw strength through the use of the chair which now alerts the audience to the fact that the chairs represent strength.
The boundaries which surrounds the village are also symbolic. The boundaries represent the protection that the elders enforce to keep the village innocent.The elders are trying to protect the community from the violence and crime that takes place in the outside world, or so they would have you believe. “You have kindness in your voice, I did not expect that.
” Ivy 1:34:46-1:34:53 This shows the audience that the outside world is far different from how the elders have concluded it to be, Ivy was surprised that the man was kind because she had been raised to believe that the towns were full of hatred and crime.This film is heavily based on images and symbolism resulting in not as much need for an in depth narrative. M Night tends not to convey the story by using plain dialogue but instead uses strong images and symbols to get the point across in a visual sense. Colour is the main symbol used in the film, using colours to represent good and bad gets the viewers to think and make assumptions based on certain colours. He also uses powerful images to convey scenes without any dialogue however still manages to get the message across.