Two films that seem very different, but actually have quite a lot in common.
The Village is about a small community -they clearly used the Amish as an example- that lives on fear. The children are being brought up with fear that if they do anything around the borders of the village, it will be at great costs. They should just follow the rules, and as soon as someone does something that the elderly have warned them about, terrible things happen. It isn’t a real horror film, so not THAT drastic, but pretty bad anyway.
Doubt is about a convent/school, ran by nuns and priests. This is immediately one of the similarities with The Village: based on faith and the fear that is used for making children do what is believed to be ‘right’. Anyway. One of the nuns notices some odd behaviour with one of the pupils and reports this. This leads to further investigation and nicely stirs up an otherwise so calm and nice atmosphere within the walls of the school.
Both films strongly thrive on the fear that is created within the faith they believe. It connects, but also leads to the road that is believed to be the only right one.
Both films have very strong leader characters. In The Village it’s Joaquin Phoenix, Bryce Dallas Howard, Adrien Brody, Sigourney Weaver and William Hurt, in Doubt it’s Meryl Streep, Amy Adams, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Viola Davis and Alice Drummond. Both films deliver a classact when it comes to showing the fear, and both films disappoint in showing what the fear is all about.
Meryl Streep does best, which is not that surprising, by being a steadfast tin soldier, in a way. Very convinced at first about what is the right thing to do, then, as the title says, doubts.
The costumes are very much in touch with the community the storylines were based upon, though Amy Adams and Meryl Streep do look a bit like walking-around-lampposts, but still.
I’m someone who likes to see a thrill being fullfilled and neither film does that, but the acting, especially in Doubt, is a joy to watch. And yet, both films make you feel like you’ve just lost sensable time watching Jaws only being a goldfish with attitude.