Unbreakable Movie Review: An alternative to superhero subject that works to an extent

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Unbreakable exhibits intriguing storytelling of humans with unique abilities that turn repetitious along the way.

Unbreakable is a whiff of fresh air. Director M. Night Shyamalan has created an incredible story involving humans-with-superpowers that offers an alternative to the likes of Marvel or DC. As a matter of fact, there are not even those top-notch VFX shots that are usually associated with superhero-based films.

It takes an ample amount of time to build the story. There is no rush whatsoever throughout. This motion picture involves David (Bruce Willis) who confronts strange qualities in him without ever taking a serious effort to explore them further and is finally able to realise his uniqueness after consistent persuasion of Elijah (Samuel L. Jackson).

The brilliant camera work of the film was noticeable. Simple interaction between David and a co-passenger in train arrests you. David is sitting near the window and the co-passenger next to him. The camera is placed at the seats that are in front of them and moves from the left seat to the right one to show their faces. A glum-looking Young Elijah, who is born with a medical condition where his bones are prone to fracture, is sitting in front of the television with a plaster cast in one hand and his mother speaks to him encouraging him to go out. The camera does the trick again as it amplifies the impact of the scene. It focuses on the television screen to show the images of Young Elijah and his mother. Elijah unwraps the gift given by his mother and finds out that it is a comic book. The book is lying upside down on his lap. As he slowly rotates the book, the camera focuses on the book and swivels around to do a circular motion.

As the movie tries to establish the powers of David, we feel intrigued. A Doctor informs David that he was the lone survivor of the train accident and did not even have a minor injury. David comes out of the ward to meet his wife Audrey (Robin Wright) and son (Spencer Treat Clark) who were waiting for him as the families and friends of deceased people stare at him with a shock. In another instance, he stands in the middle of a moving crowd and when people bump into him or brush past him, he senses something when a person has committed a wrong deed. But the movie takes a long time to build the character of David and his abilities that it gets repetitive after a while so much so that seeing his abilities does not amaze you.

The mature take on the comic book was very impressive. Elijah shows a sketch of superhero fighting a villain to a visitor in his art gallery and describes it as “realistic depiction of figures” and a “vintage”.

The relationship between David and Audrey remained uninteresting and never really seemed to be of any significance. It hardly moves us seeing their marital life in disarray.

Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson should be offered thunderous claps for the amazing portrayal of David and Elijah respectively. Unbreakable exhibits intriguing storytelling of humans with unique abilities that turn repetitious along the way.

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