The Village: A 2023 Netflix Series Review of social injustice and human dignity
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What is The Village about?
The Village is a 2023 Japanese drama film directed by Michihito Fujii and starring Ryusei Yokohama, Haru Kuroki, and Arata Furuta. The film is set in a remote village that is surrounded by a massive garbage dump and follows the lives of its inhabitants who are bound by a cruel fate. The film explores themes of environmentalism, social injustice and human dignity.
The Village story
The film begins with a young man named Shota (Yokohama) who works as a scavenger in the dump, collecting valuable items and selling them to a middleman. He dreams of escaping the village and seeing the world, but he is prevented by his grandfather (Furuta) who claims that they have a debt to the land and must stay there until they die. Shota’s only friend is Yui (Kuroki), a nurse who visits the village to provide medical care to the residents. She also wants to leave the village, but she feels responsible for the people there.
One day, Shota finds a mysterious device in the dump that seems to have some connection to the outside world. He decides to investigate it with Yui’s help, hoping to find a way out of the village. However, they soon discover that the device is part of a sinister plot by a powerful corporation that wants to exploit the village and its resources. The device is actually a bomb that will detonate when the dump reaches a certain height, destroying the village and everything in it.
Shota and Yui try to warn the villagers and stop the bomb, but they face resistance from Shota’s grandfather who believes that they are betraying their ancestors and their duty to the land. He also reveals that he has been working with the corporation for years, receiving money and supplies in exchange for keeping the villagers in the dark. He believes that the bomb is a blessing that will end their suffering and free them from their debt.
The film ends with a climactic confrontation between Shota and his grandfather, as well as between the villagers and the corporation’s agents. Shota manages to deactivate the bomb and expose the corporation’s scheme, but he is fatally wounded by his grandfather who tries to stop him. Yui rushes to his side and confesses her love for him, but he dies in her arms. The villagers then revolt against the corporation and drive them away from the dump. The film closes with Yui leaving the village with Shota’s body, determined to honor his memory and his dream of seeing the world.
What are the strengths and weaknesses of The Village?
The strengths of The Village are its diverse and likable cast, its heartwarming and emotional stories, and its positive message of hope and community. The weaknesses of The Village are its predictable and clichéd plotlines, its lack of originality and realism, and its sometimes melodramatic and sentimental tone.
Should you watch The Village on Netflix?
Yes definitely, You should watch The Village on Netflix if you enjoy drama series that focus on interpersonal relationships and social issues. The Village is not a groundbreaking or innovative show, but it is a feel-good and uplifting one that celebrates the power of human connection.