The Village (2023) on Netflix: plot & ending explained

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The Village, a captivating Japanese movie starring Ryusei Yokohama, started streaming worldwide on June 16, 2023, exclusively on Netflix. This suspenseful tale ventures into the depths of a remote “village,” reflecting the somber realities of modern society onto its isolated realm. Set in the tranquil Japanese hamlet of Kamon Village, the film introduces us to Yuu, a marginalized young man who labors in a landfill. Through Yuu’s compelling journey, the movie delves into the multifaceted layers of the human condition, exploring themes of redemption, the ephemeral nature of experiences, and the pursuit of success. Since the plot and the ending may need to be explained, we explore the whole movie in this article.

You can watch the official trailer for Netflix’s The Village here on Youtube.

The Village: the plot explained

Yuu is an outcast living in a small village, toiling away in a landfill. Bullied and ostracized by the community, his life seems marked by hardship and abandonment. However, everything changes when an old childhood friend, Misaki, returns to the village. Together, Yuu and Misaki shared a passion for Noh theater. The friend, now holding a higher position at the landfill, decides to help Yuu build a better life.

While the plot of The Village progresses, the friend starts offering Yuu new job opportunities and presents him with an Omote mask, a symbol from the Noh play “The Dream of Kantan.” The Noh play is about a young man, Rosei, who embarks on a journey to meet a renowned monk. In the village of Kantan, he encounters a mysterious pillow that grants enlightenment. While napping on the pillow, the young man dreams of becoming an emperor and ruling for fifty years. However, upon awakening, he realizes it was all just a dream. Similar to Rosei in the legend of the Kantan Pillow, Yuu begins to experience a period of success. Yuu’s life takes a surprising turn as he becomes almost a local celebrity. Through Misaki’s encouragement, Yuu gets involved in tourist tours of the landfill and even appears on television. For a brief period, it seems that fortune has finally smiled upon Yuu.

The moment of fame and well-being that Yuu experiences in the film can be likened to Rosei’s dream in “The Dream of Kantan” story. Both protagonists undergo extraordinary and illusory experiences that seemingly defy their marginalized and troubled backgrounds. Rosei’s dream thrusts him into the role of an emperor, while Yuu lives a brief period of fame. However, both of these experiences prove ephemeral and illusory, leading the characters to realize the fleeting nature of their grandiose experiences.

Through Yuu’s narrative journey, The Village takes us on an exploration of the human soul, and that’s how the message of its plot can be explained. The film delves into profound themes such as marginalization, guilt, the longing for redemption, and the pursuit of happiness. While Yuu temporarily attains success and recognition, dark secrets emerge that jeopardize everything he has built. This reminds us that reality can be vastly different from appearances, and our actions and past choices can shape our present and future. That leads us to the ending of The Village: let’s have it explained separately.

The ending explained

Getting closer to its ending, The Village culminates in an unexpected twist of events that highlights the fragile illusion of Yuu’s success. Throughout the story, dark secrets involving the landfill owner and Yuu’s son, Toru, come to light. It is revealed that Yuu’s friend has killed Toru, and Yuu has concealed his body in the landfill, along with illegally buried toxic waste. When the toxic waste and Toru’s corpse are discovered, Yuu’s situation rapidly deteriorates.

Driven by circumstances and a sense of an inescapable destiny, Yuu follows in his father’s footsteps and kills the landfill owner, who is also Toru’s father. In the final act, Yuu strangles the man and sets the entire house on fire. This dramatic and tragic event seals Yuu’s fate, highlighting how his past, actions, and relationships are intertwined in a cycle of violence and secrets.

Within the narrative, up to its ending, The Village confronts the harsh truths faced by its inhabitants, individuals who find themselves unable to escape their tainted pasts. It serves as a poignant commentary on the prevalent challenges that afflict contemporary Japan, encompassing environmental concerns, the dire circumstances of young people in depopulated villages, widening social inequalities, and a society ensnared in a distorted social structure, leaving little room for second chances. Through its fusion of entertainment and social critique, this unprecedented human drama invites viewers to confront the complexities and struggles of modern life.

The plot of The Village not only offers a gripping storyline but also presents profound reflections on the fragile nature of our aspirations and the quest for meaning in a world burdened by its own shadows.

Coming to its ending explained, The Village prompts us to contemplate the fragility of our aspirations and the transient nature of success. Like Yuu in the film, we must confront the hidden truths behind our illusions and reckon with the consequences of our actions. Ultimately, the film leaves us with a profound understanding of the fleeting nature of human experiences and the need to confront our fears, demons, and responsibilities in order to find inner peace and authentic meaning in life.

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