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Are you unbreakable?  

Year: 2000 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 (Scope) 
Certificate: BBFC 12A Cert – Under 12s admitted only with an adult 
Subtitles: The level of subtitling in this film is unknown to WSC 
Directed by Unknown 
Starring: Unknown  

Unbreakable is the second project of the Oscar nominated writer-director M. Night Shyamalan, made famous for the sleeper success of The Sixth Sense. The story follows David Dunn (Bruce Willis) after he is discovered as the sole survivor of a terrible train wreck in which over 100 people die. Emerging without a scratch, Dunn doesn't think much of the events that have transpired until he receives a mysterious note from a store called Limited Edition.

The note poses a strange query, asking Dunn how many times he has been sick in his life. This forces Dunn to really think about how strange it is that no one he knows can remember him ever being sick. He decides to pay the store a visit and ask what was meant by the note.

Dunn finds a cross between Dr. X and a cast member of The Matrix in Elijah Price(Samuel L. Jackson), the owner of Limited Edition, a comic book art gallery. Price explains that he has a rare genetic disorder that causes his bones to break easily. He rationalises that if he is so easily injured, then there must be someone on the other side of the spectrum who cannot be harmed. The rest of the film deals with Dunn's slow acceptance of his comic book superhero-esque fate.

The film has a very dark, dismal overtone that works well with the mystery-driven plot. The use of dark colours throughout the film, seen not only in the scenery but also in the clothing of each character, is offset well by the bright colour used later on in the film. The story too is well crafted despite a slackening of pace after the first forty-five minutes, but the dialogue constantly dances around the subject of Dunn's mysterious survival without telling the viewer what is meant.

Willis successfully duplicates his role from The Sixth Sense, portraying his characters' depth in a meaningful manner, but Jackson steals the spotlight from the rest with his vivid portrayal of the eccentric Price.

Unbreakable's emphasis on comic book culture may come as a shock to moviegoers who attend purely on the strength of the movie's star power, but the film holds promise for anyone willing to suspend reality in favour of Shyamalan's moody vision.

Vicki Robertson

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Screenings of this film:

2000/2001 Summer Term (35mm)
2000/2001 Summer Term (35mm)
2000/2001 Summer Term (35mm)