Those who are different have always been kept at arm’s length. Some treated as pariahs, feared for their differences, and kept hidden away from a society who can’t quite comprehend their uniqueness. Others are considered to be gifted, with abilities that are beyond what ordinary human-beings possess.
Traditional superhero films tend to glorify these differences but what if these ‘gifts’ are merely delusions, with scientific explanations behind these miraculous and remarkable super-human abilities?
That is the basis behind M. Night Shyamalan’s thrilling new film, Glass, the highly anticipated and thrilling sequel to Unbreakable and Split, which sees the climax of the first two films reach an epic conclusion, bringing together the star-studded cast of Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson, James McAvoy and Sarah Paulson.
Being a sequel, Glass takes place after the events of the previous two films and sees each of the characters’ stories interconnect as they are treated for their ‘delusions’ of possessing superhuman abilities. What ensues is a series of thrills and captivating plot points that keep audiences on their toes.
Shyamalan certainly excels in telling a mind-bending story and certainly does so in Glass. The narrative completely diverts from the traditional superhero film formula, something that was refreshing albeit a little dark at times. The allure of having superheroes and villains who aren’t glorified and instead showcased as being ‘ill’ paints a very different picture, one that creates a compelling story. Not only that but being a Shyamalan film also means that twists and turns are aplenty, leaving no room for predictability, something that certainly kept me interested and engaged with the film all the way through.
Despite already being familiar with the characters of David Dunn (Willis), Elijah Price a.k.a Mister Glass (Jackson) and the numerous personalities of Kevin Wendell Crumb (McAvoy), Glass further developed each character’s personality, giving audiences even more insight into the way in which each man thinks. The inclusion of supporting characters, those close to each individual, in the film added a sense of humanity to the three men, once again playing highlighting the struggle of distinguishing these men as possessing abilities beyond human comprehension or merely men with far-fetched ideas about themselves.
Films such as these aren’t typically aesthetically spectacular. One will not likely see any impressive visual effects or spectacle like that of more traditional superhero films. No, Shyamalan tends to delve deep into subtlety and visual cues in his films as opposed to focusing on grandeurs.
Visual cues are aplenty in the film and Shyamalan takes full advantage of playing with a variety of film techniques to tell his story. Add in a thrilling soundtrack and what audiences end up with is a suspense filled film.
Glass was certainly impressive as a thriller, playing on the emotions of both the characters on screen and that of audiences watching the film. Though, despite being uniquely entertaining and intriguing, there were some scenes and ideas that I personally felt should have been developed further.
As with any film, a story is only ever as good as its ending, and Glass manages to tie together the entire trilogy in a way that leaves completionists feeling satisfied. The complexity of the film’s narrative, the depth of character development and interaction as well as surprising twists, help make Glass one of the films to watch this year. Just be sure to watch Unbreakable and Split beforehand, if you have not already done so.