A great thriller with supernatural elements starring Bruce Willis as a security guard named David Dunn who has a son, Joseph, played by Spencer Treat Clark (Gladiator, Double Jeopardy) with his wife Audrey, played by Robin Wright (Isn’t She Lovely, Forrest Gump). Samuel Jackson also stars as Elijah Price, a unique character with health issues who factors into David’s life.
Shyamalan opens the film with some interesting statistics about comic books and their wide audience as foreshadowing tools in the plot. Filmmakers also foreshadow one of David’s relevant characteristics that has great importance in the plot. Shyamalan uses unique point of view camera shots as he sets the groundwork for the ensuing plot. He keeps the camera focused on the main carrier of the action whether it be a foot, a face, or the reflection in a television set. Make sure to watch the entire frame in a beginning scene as sound, sight, and dialogue combine in an interior hospital scene that introduces the movie’s concept to the audience. The emotional impact this gifted director brings to this film builds on the comparable talents in Shyamalan’s previous film, The Sixth Sense. Watch the camera frame as Shyamalan puts you, the viewer, right into the conversations and actions of the characters.
Elijah’s uses lines like “these are mediocre times” and ”I hope you have an open mind” as David initiates the rediscovery of his past. Elements, such as a sentry comic book, mirror David’s work life as security guard and his personal life too much to be simple coincidences. David’s coincidences in the plot, including a workout scene and his son’s description of a player at a neighborhood football game, also foreshadow and clue in the audience to a satisfying ending. Note the disclaimer David gives to his son as he pushes beyond his limits as the story moves into the supernatural theme.
You find more foreshadowing as Elijah’s mother, played by Charlayne Woodard, describes a comic book to Elijah and more questions about Dunn’s car accident in college that ended his football career. Audrey also get involved in David’s discoveries but the impact of Elijah and David’s characteristics overshadows her role as the wife in a declining marriage.
David keeps his moral ethics and good intentions throughout the most dramatic actions in the film. His quiet dialogue to his son after several life changing experiences and discovery reinforces David’s admirable role of the film’s hero. This great father-son relationship can be summed up in an excellent scene where David communicates some important information to his son without speaking a word.
Pay close attention to the dialogue and look for reasons behind the actions. This well made film provides the background and opportunity for deep involvement from the audience, so don’t pass it up. The highly recommended film is rated PG-13 and has a running time of one hour and 46 minutes. Remember that the end does not always justify the means when David finally realizes his “true” self.
Copyright © Michael Siebenaler