Glass: Directed by Manoj Nelliyattu Shyamalan
The ups and downs experienced in Shyamalan’s career, in his relationship with critics and the public, had their last high point with Multiple, not so much because of the film itself, a great proposal but not at the top of his filmography, but because of the promise that generated, a sequel, demanded for almost two decades, of El protege, possibly his best film and one of the best portraits of the superhero universe from the field of everyday life. Glass is that promise full of expectations turned into reality. However, we already know how problematic high promises are, and Glass is no stranger to it.
The focus of this third film in the Unprotected universe is, as its title indicates, on the character played by Samuel L. Jackson. The film is therefore not the culmination of the hero’s path, but rather the main villain’s path. If we were to view the entire trilogy from this perspective, Unbreakable would be the film that confirms a personal revelation and gives him a purpose, Multiple the one that gives him the tool to achieve that purpose, and Glass the one in which that purpose may or may not ultimately culminate.
In that sense, the three films work perfectly and Glass is the logical closure to that path, the place where everything takes on its definitive meaning and where the issues that have dominated this great story are put on the table for resolution. : the idea that exceptionality exists in the everyday world and how the real world is organized to catalog this exceptionality as a consequence of a delusion and reflect it only through allegorical fictions.
That’s why the idea of setting the main action of the film in a mental institution makes perfect sense. And like almost all madmen, Don Cristal seeks only to reveal his reality to the world, leaving no room for his delusion to be, in the best of cases, a mere matter of faith.
However, the film deals with a story that is somewhat anticlimactic within the trilogy. Here the conflict is not articulated so much in the idea of stopping a danger, although it is not alien to it, but in a less fertile ground for suspense and action. Having the three main characters confined for much of the story and the most relevant of the group pilled until he was catatonic, despite the overall coherence, it gives the feeling that the film spends a lot of time with the handbrake on.
Here comes the contradiction that a good part of the director’s cinema suffers. His obsession with generating stories around the meaning of life of its protagonists and, frequently, linked to the analysis of the structure of the stories, has given rise to films that seem to consciously boycott each other. At times they require a certain suspension of disbelief for trying to translate the magical into reality. On other occasions, they advance or explain the keys to the type of work they intend to dissect (the comic in this trilogy, the divine signs in Señales or the structure of a story in La Joven del Agua). His famous final twists are therefore somewhat lackluster.
However, at least in my case, those feelings almost always fade with viewing. Films that seemed regular to me in the cinema, have gained a lot from being reviewed because, once the surprises and revelations are known, it is the meaning of the whole and the one that it gives to the characters themselves, whose vital crises are directly linked to this aspect, which fills in all the apparent cracks in the movies. His work, like the lives of his protagonists, only takes on its full meaning in this way.
Therefore, what may have seemed like a somewhat cold film at first, it is very likely that it will once again occupy an essential place. We are very used to genre cinema focusing more on external conflicts (the fight against evil) or internal ones linked to the external (love, loss, guilt, etc.) and Shyamalan always navigates in a deeply intimate terrain. , where the final key lies solely and exclusively in the special place that each character occupies in their particular universe and the emptiness generated by not finding that unique space.