Sun | Mar 29, 2020

Cinema Seen | Glass: Frustratingly imperfect

Published:Monday | January 21, 2019 | 12:00 AM
File:This image released by Universal Pictures shows Sarah Paulson, left, and Samuel L. Jackson in a scene from ‘Glass’.

After almost 20 years, the story that began at the start of the millennia has come to a close. Glass, concludes what began in 2000s Unbreakable, and continued in 2017's Split. This time reuniting the characters of David Dunn, played by Bruce Willis, and Elijah Price, played by Samuel L. Jackson - each now going by The Overseer', and 'Mr Glass' as their superhuman moniker. In the middle, there is James McAvoy as 'The Horde' whose multiple personalities - particularly 'The Beast', pose a threat to the civilian population.

If Unbreakable is a family drama disguised as a superhero movie, and Split, a horror flick disguised as a superhero movie, then Glass, is a psychological thriller. It poses a central question to the viewer - 'Do these people actually have abilities, or are they the victims of psychological delusions?' The way it plays with this idea is intriguing and compelling, and under some incredible direction. M. Night Shyamalan, may not have the best track record, but his ability behind the camera is well thought out, massively creative, and a testament to the craft.

When it comes to the writing? Not so much. Glass has some incredible direction and acting, but it seriously falters in the writing department. For a film that's taking a fantastic idea like superheroes and breaking it down for the real world, the characters can sound remarkably cartoonish. A scene can be composed beautifully with some of the best cinematography of Shyamalan's entire career, but because the characters are delivering clunky dialogue about the nature of comic books, you're taken out the film.

An element that was more or less a mixed bag was the characters. Sometimes their arcs are woven intricately with the story. Other times they're inconsistent, which does nothing but take you away from the elements of the movie that are much more polished.

Glass, is a movie that has good ideas. It knows how to show them, but not how to talk about them. If it were a silent movie, it would win an Oscar. Fans of Unbreakable and Split, will no doubt enjoy as Glass takes the best elements of both those films and manages to make a satisfying end to the would be trilogy. It's only a shame that it's held back from reaching its full potential.

Rating: Half-Price