Glass Explained: What’s Up With the Ending?

Essence Of The Film Glass (2019), The Plot, Meaning, Explanation Of The Ending. Supermen From The Lunatic Asylum: Analysis Of The Film “Glass”.

Genre: fantasy, thriller, drama

Year of production: 2019

Directed by: M. Night Shyamalan

Actors: James McAvoy, Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson, Anya Taylor-Joy

tagline: “Unleash your demons”

The story, which began about 20 years ago, received an unexpected continuation. And she was misunderstood. The viewer was expecting a classic superhero, but got a philosophical gloomy tale. The essence of the film “Glass”  – in the hidden possibilities hidden deep inside each person. It’s also a movie about believing in yourself.

The plot of the film “Glass”

To understand the essence of the film “Glass”, it is necessary to refer to the history of the director’s work.

M. Night Shyamalan is famous for his love of sudden plot twists and specific directorial styles. In 2000, before comic book movies, he made a movie about the realistic appearance of superheroes. In the film “Invulnerable”, the main character was not only an incredibly strong person – he knew everything about the weaknesses and sins of the people around him.

James McAvoyStarring James McAvoy. Frame from the film.

In 2016, a film called “Split” was released (read about it at the link) – a horror about a maniac with 24 personalities: it was a film about the “birth” of a supervillain. The connection with “Invulnerable”, which appears at the very end of the film, with careful observation, also appears throughout the film.

Where the second part, there is the third. All the characters from previous films in the franchise converge on one point to bring their story to its logical conclusion. Unfortunately, the translation has lost the play on words in the titles of all films. In the original, the paintings are called: “Invulnerable”, “Split” and “Glass”, which sounds much more solid.

Description of the content of the film “Glass”. An aged David Dunn, along with his assistant son, is looking for a maniac nicknamed “The Horde”.

The Horde’s real name is Kevin Crumb. He has kidnapped a group of young girls and is holding them in an abandoned warehouse. David goes there and engages in a fight with the criminal, after which both are grabbed by the police.

Then both find themselves in a lunatic asylum, where “Mr. Glass” Elijah Price is already waiting for them.

According to rational doctor Ellie Staple, superheroes are megalomaniacs caused by damage to the frontal lobe. All three sincerely believe in the reality of their supernatural abilities, and the doctor tries to convince each of them that they are just unhealthy.

Price, who has been planning an escape for a long time, convinces Kevin to work together. Having escaped from his cell, Dunn tries to stop them.

Main charactersSamuel L. Jackson as Elijah Price, James McAvoy as Kevin, Bruce Willis as David Dun. Frame from the film.

As events unfold, it turns out that Elijah was guilty of awakening Kevin’s terrible abilities: it was he who, many years ago, staged a catastrophe that claimed the life of the boy’s father. The personality disorder was provoked not only by the tragedy, but also by a difficult relationship with his mother, because of the mistreatment of which Crumb’s most terrible personality, the Beast, was “born”. So the boy Kevin became the “Horde”.

Ending explanation

Toward the end of the picture, the awakened Beast mortally wounds Elijah and David. At this point, Dr. Staple leads a squad of armed soldiers who kill Crumb, and along with David.

It turns out that Dr. Staple is an employee of a secret organization that fights superhumans.

Before his death, Elijah hacks into the security cameras and the recording of the fight between the two antagonists falls into the hands of Dunn’s son, Joseph. He puts the video in the public domain, which allows the world to know that special people exist …

Anya Taylor-JoyAnya Taylor-Joy played the role of Casey Cook. Frame from the film.

The explanation for the ending looks like this: the world learns about the existence of superhumans, which means that the efforts of Dr. Staple’s secret organization went to waste.

Shyamalan’s film invites reflection on the meaning of comics for the media and society as a whole. The viewer is invited to independently answer the question of what is a superhero.

Thus, the meaning of the ending of the film “Glass” is almost philosophical: who is, say, a person who spends his free time running around the city in a raincoat and beating up criminals? Maybe he is seriously ill and is a danger?

Or is it still a representative of that very “island of escapism” that we sometimes need so much? After all, believing in goodness with fists, in an invulnerable fighter capable of generously weighing down a dangerous maniac whom the police cannot find, is so nice.

The meaning of the film

There are few paintings of the “Glass” type. The director makes a rather cunning move: as dramatic flashbacks, he uses not inserts from the first picture, but scenes cut from there. Emotional connections that have been on the shelf for a long time add vitality to the film.

“Glass” is surprisingly demanding on viewers in terms of knowledge of previous films in the franchise. Before watching, you should know that The Horde is an evil group inside Kevin, David’s weak spot is water, and director Shyamalan is the destroyer of some stories and the creator of others.

There are 24 personalities inside Kevin, but the “old men” rule the ball, which it is desirable to distinguish between the evil Dennis, Patricia, the boy Hedwig and the Beast. Inside (somewhere very deep) sits the original – the unfortunate coward Kevin. When dramatic events happen to them, this is not one tragedy for everyone, but their own for everyone.

In the film “Glass” there is a very weak action and at the same time – chamber narration. The whole film is accompanied by colors that have a special meaning. Each hero has his own color: green (symbol of rebirth), yellow (positive) and purple (unity of opposites). The same colors accompany the people associated with them, albeit to a lesser extent. In the doctor’s office and the corridors of the hospital, the heroes are surrounded by blue. This is the color of Dr. Ellie Staple: they are all in her power.

Mr. Glass and Shyamalan are rebels. Taking templates from comics, the author in the face of Elijah directly points to them inside the picture. It turns out that the superheroes in the film “Glass” are guided by the superheroes from the comics from the same picture. It’s about post-development – for heroes. For viewers, this adds another level of depth. That is, it turns out already post-post-history.

“Glass” is much more complex and multifaceted than its predecessors. In their analysis, viewers point out that there is a hidden meaning in the picture, scolded by critics.

Samuel L. JacksonFrame from the film.

The director managed to make a post-meta-deconstruction of the genre. The story told in “Glass” is perfectly perceived as an inside look at the world outside.

The postirony of Shyamalan manifests itself gradually. Structurally, the final picture seems to duplicate the entire trilogy. In the first part of the franchise, David Dunn is the hero. In the second – Kevin rushes about in doubt. In the third, Elijah rules. This is amusingly similar to the career of Shyamalan himself, who had a very good start, followed by failures, and then a new rise.

In the tape, the past is connected with the present, as if it was always intended to be so. The final battle takes place far from the masses of people, and only the patients of the hospital see it.

The ending is the opposite of all established superhero movie templates. And there will be no continuation – contrary to the laws of Hollywood.

The plot of the picture works at the level of metaphor. Probably one of the ideas of the picture was to tell about the attitude of the masses to something very different from the usual. The majority is represented by a doctor, and the unusual by superhumans. Critics and the picture itself can also be attributed here: the meaning lies in the antagonism of criticism and perception of oneself within the framework of one’s own history. That is, “Glass” is also a satire.

But in principle, you can look at the picture as a film about faith. In the first picture, David comes to believe in himself, as opposed to himself. In the second installment of the franchise, Kevin comes to believe in himself against everything around him. In the third film, the whole world should believe in something unusual, wanting stability, not loving and not understanding those who somehow stand out.

The leitmotif of the trilogy: you need to trust yourself, no matter how the environment seeks to extinguish the uniqueness, no matter how fantastic it may be.

Doctor Staple is trying to simplify the trinity of heroes to primitivism – and critics of the picture want them to start flying and arrange the final battle in the best traditions of the genre. This is about a meta-statement against ubiquitous templates that are suitable for viewers of any level, age and background. While one side is trying to control everything, the other in the person of Mr. Glass rebels alone – like director M. Night Shyamalan in the media world, captured by the big players.

Sarah PaulsonSarah Paulson played the role of Dr. Staple. Frame from the film.

The heroes of the film “Glass” can only speak out and wait. If in reality the story is utopian predictable, then in the picture we are waiting for a question with Schrödinger’s answer.

In the final frame, your superhero spinning top starts up: will it spin like this, or will it fly up? The characters are watching, the viewer is watching, and instead of answering – the final credits. Who said it would be easy?

Similar films

Here are a few more films similar in meaning to “Glass”:

  • “Kick-Ass” (UK, USA, 2010). Dave Lizewski is an ordinary schoolboy. One day, after reading comics, he decided to declare war on the crime of the city;
  • “Stay” (USA, 2005). Student Henry Letham tells his psychotherapist a shocking truth one day;
  • “Resident of the Damned” (USA, 2014). A young doctor gets a job in a psychiatric hospital. Soon he will face a real nightmare.

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