Welcome to Framed, a column at Cinematical that runs every Thursday and celebrates the artistry of cinema -- one frame at a time.
Few people have had a rougher summer than director M. Night Shyamalan. The filmmaker watched his big-budget 3-D film 'The Last Airbender' get slaughtered by critics and his credit in 'Devil' became the target of laughter. It's hard to believe that the filmmaker, now so often the butt of cruel movie jokes, was once considered one of the rising stars of cinema. It's true, though -- the director's earliest works are far more compelling than his recent releases. 'The Sixth Sense' was a huge commercial success for the director -- putting him on the map with six Academy Award nominations. The film became the genesis for Shyamalan's famous twist endings -- a ploy that would eventually work against him. His next directorial venture, 'Unbreakable' (which celebrates its 10th anniversary this month) featured a similar twist, but it was the way Shyamalan injected an everyman realism into a unique superhero origin tale that won audiences over.
David Dunn (Bruce Willis) is a working-class man who's encountered his fair share of life's roadblocks -- a failed football career, a broken marriage, an estranged relationship with his son -- but finds a rejuvenated sense of self after he's involved in a tragic train crash. Dunn is the sole survivor of the wreck and soon realizes his true potential in life thanks to a mysterious note left on his car -- leading him to Elijah Price (Samuel L. Jackson). The theory Elijah presents is difficult for David to swallow, but eventually the articulate and mysterious stranger convinces Dunn that this isn't just his childhood obsession with comic books talking -- he's actually onto something. David is the man Elijah's been searching for his whole life -- the invincible quotient in his imperfect world.