Wednesday Rewind: Unbreakable by @destroytheearth

Everyone has an "other favourite movie"; as in, "oh, I forgot that one, that's my OTHER favourite movie". You should all know by now that my favourite movie is Clubbed To Death, but my "other" favourite movie is Unbreakable.

Of course, M Night Shyamalan has a lot to answer for nowadays; he hasn't made anything worth seeing since Signs. Nevertheless, his "good" trilogy of Sixth Sense, Unbreakable and Signs earned him the reputation of a young Hitchcock, and deservedly so.

Above the others, Unbreakable was his labour of love and it shows. Every single shot of this film has thought behind it; every angle is worked on and crafted, and never just to give you the best view of the action. Most angles are framed to appear like comic-book boxes and check out the recurring theme of upside down shots that turn into focus as things become clear.

The concept of the film is simple and not that uncommon nowadays: what if there really was a superhero? However, this is no Kick Ass campery; what you have with Unbreakable is something unique: a superhero film about sons and fathers, husbands and wives, friendship, and, most of all, a middle-aged man's naive desire to become a hero to his family.

Of course, this being Shyamalan, there is a twist; yet in this film, it is not a "how did I not see that coming?", but rather a genuine shock out of left field that merely acts as a denouement and does not form the core of the story. As such, the film bears up to multiple viewings, even after you know the finale.

Shyamalan claims he always had Willis and Jackson in mind as the main dialectic of the film, and it is hard to see anyone else carrying these characters off with such heart and such a grounding in reality. The rest of the cast are just window dressing to their duet and all the better.

It may surprise you, knowing my feelings, that I have only seen Unbreakable a handful of times. The simple reason is that I find the film so moving, so involving and so beautiful, that it drains me and I'm almost afraid to watch it again. Shyamalan has truly managed to capture the heart of all comics geeks, we can only hope he remembers how to make films like this again one day.

1 comment:

  1. Much love for Unbreakable. Willis and Jackson are a great pairing and I like the intimate nature of the film. As you said it is all about the relationships.