The Village: Lot Of Gore, But Little Substance

Misses the mark.

The Village (Tamil)

  • Cast: Arya, Divya Pillai, and Baby Aazhiya
  • Director: Milind Rau
  • Producer: BS Radhakrishnan
  • Music: Girishh Gopalakrishnan
  • No. of episodes: 6
  • OTT platform: Amazon Prime Video

The genre of horror thrillers has become as overused as romantic films, and stories about villages haunted by a horrific past have also become old as hills.

In his OTT debut The Village, director Milind Rau takes this familiar premise while attempting to do social commentary on nature conservation and superstitions.

However, the acclaimed filmmaker fails miserably to make the audience either scared or make them root for the central protagonist.

Interestingly, the web series is based on a graphic horror novel of the same name written by Asvin Srivatsangam, Vivek Rangachari, and Shamik Dasgupta.

Synopsis

Milind Rau directorial The Village
Milind Rau’s directorial ‘The Village’. (X)

Gautham (Arya) is a doctor by profession. His wife is Neha (Divya Pillai).

They are on a road trip with their daughter Maya (Baby Aazhiya) and a dog called Hectic. During the road trip from Chennai to Thoothukudi, the car breaks down in a deserted village called Kattiyal.

Gautham goes to a nearby town to seek help. While Gautham is away, both Neha and Maya are mysteriously abducted.

Three locals, for their own personal reasons, agree to help Gautham. They are Peter (George Maryan), Karunagam (Muthu Kumar), and Sakthi (Aadukalam Naren).

Running parallel to this, Prakash (Arjun Chidambaram) is a despicable villain and is wheelchair-bound. He sends a group of mercenaries headed by Farhan (John Kokken). He is aided by some scientists.

John’s task is to retrieve a chemical called Lantanite, which may help Prakash to walk again.

What follows is a hotchpotch of different timelines and various themes that test the viewers’ patience.

Analysis

Arya in The Village
Arya in ‘The Village’. (X)

The biggest flaw of The Village is the weakly written flashback portions.

Here, Milind Rau touches upon the issues of oppression, the corporates taking over villages, and health hazards caused by pollution. These are undoubtedly relevant, but the execution falls flat.

Technically too, The Village is a disaster.

The forest where Farhan and others try to find the Lantanite looks like a poor cousin of the forest shown in the Avatar films.

There is an ample dose of bodies being cut in halves, intestines lying on the floor, and gory-looking men who should have ideally made the audience feel anger and fear. But nothing of that sort happens.

This is because of the cartoonish way that those scenes have been written.

Another major problem with The Village is that we don’t feel any sympathy for the plight of Gautham. This is because the web series doesn’t have strongly written scenes depicting Gautham’s love for his wife and daughter.

Performances

Most of the performances only add to the lethargic quality.

Aadukalam Naren and Muthukumar are the only actors who rise above the torrid story.

Aarya, on the other hand, struggles big time in portraying the panic and the desperation required. He labours on many occasions.

The characterisations of Farhan and the mercenaries, too, are written haphazardly.

Arjun Chidambaram does a decent job as a man with severe daddy issues. However, both the character and the performance need more bite.

Final take

The Village web series tries hard to bring a shiver down the audience’s spine but misses the mile by many miles.

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