Storytelling

The art of storytelling is as important to the story as are the actual _details_ of the story itself. Perhaps that is why I loved Advent Rising (which I finally finished over the weekend, I might add) and The Village so much. The story, in both cases, might not have been as complex or as detailed as some of the best-loved classics, but the _way_ in which the story was told, the artistry and skill with which the particular details were revealed, certainly places both stories in a place of great prominence for me. Sure, _The Village_ seemed a lot less mysterious and creepy once the particulars were made known, and _Advent Rising_ raised many more questions than it answered, but the mysteries were laid out one at a time and with careful precision, forcing you, the viewer, to sit on the edge of your seat and wonder just what the heck was going on.

I think people tend to overlook the artistry of storytelling. Part of why I think so many people disliked _The Village_ was because it was finally revealed that the monsters in the woods were not real after all. In a world where “gore and murder”:http://open-dialogue.com/blog/?p=71 are so popular, where horror receives such interest and acclaim, where people like to be titillated, complex and interesting plots are often rejected because people don’t always like to have to work by thinking through a story in order to understand it. They don’t like having the story laid out for them only a bit at a time.

It’s interesting to me to note the disappointment and the criticism when a mysterious story promises a hugely climactic ending that resolves _without_ the splash of blood they were hoping for. All that tension builds up in anticipation of that momentous peak, and then the great mystery proves to be less mystery and more mundane. This is not unique to just stories like _The Village_, either. Many stories I’ve read or seen in a movie are wrapped in great mystery, and then, when the mystery is solved, you look back at the story in hindsight and wonder why you ever got so wound up about it. Anticlimactic. Sometimes. That is the very thing that I think causes people to criticize so harshly stories like _The Village_ where the resolution is closer to ordinary than anyone expected (or even than anyone might have liked). Yet, when you look at the skills used to tell the story and the _way_ in which it was told, it is possible to appreciate the story in a different light and proclaim it good – and maybe even excellent.

2 thoughts on “Storytelling”

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