Mr Night Shyamalan and The Meta-Humans

Elodie Cure Elodie Cure
Expert Contributor
January 25th, 2019

French aspiring writer and interviewer. TV shows and films connoisseur. Overpowered by curiosity.

Mr Night Shyamalan and The Meta-Humans
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Eighteen years after Unbreakable, the final opus of the shinning trilogy written by M. Night Shyamalan, also known as The Eastrail #177 Trilogy, finally lands in our cinemas under the following title: Glass. The long-awaited encounter between David Dunn (Bruce Willis), Elijah Price (Samuel L. Jackson) and the Horde (James McAvoy) has finally arrived! But below its super-heroes movie appearance, Glass is more a pretext allowing its creator to push further the limits of conceptual and humanity.

The belief at the heart of the myth

At a time where Marvel and DC heroes compete with vigour on most media, those of Shyamalan have this little something more original, significant and accessible. It’s not a matter of caped vigilante wearing tight tights that people look with admiration. No, those are heroes within our reach. Meta-humans, exceptional beings, gods living among men. Also known as « super-human », those unique people draw their origins from the 17th-century literature, before assuming a specific meaning under Nietzsche’s ideology who describes them as above all, as « god[s] whose only task is the transfiguration of existence ».
If it is true that the average heroic world is sprinkled with meta-humans, the Glass heroes possess a very distinctive feature. Unlike Flash who has inherited his power after getting strike by lightning or like Spider-Man who develops his super-senses following the bite of a radioactive spider, the abilities of Glass protagonists emanate from their own beliefs. In other words, they are vigilantes of the ordinary, fallible beings with powers limited only by their subconscious.
A vision of things that would make us think that everything is possible. Besides, Kevin mentions it explicitly in Split: « We are what we believe we are.” 
By acting like that, Shyamalan engages the spectator’s free will to question his nature, his sensitivities and his humanity: What are the limits of our brain? Do we have access to a transcending extension of the mind that would heighten our primal senses? Are the characters on our screens delusional, are they insane? Or does their belief in themselves provide them with extraordinary powers?
Credits : Glass

To an unreachable bestiality

Since Unbreakable, the director gets on break-in the limits of the consciousness, but it’s more blatant in Split when he introduces the Beast, a man with a distorted body, increased agility and enormous strength. In this trilogy, we can almost perceive the standard as a symptom that must be cured, a virus from which we must be freed. Would no that be the hidden message of the films? That is called the admitted conventions of this fragile world into question and think of a perpetual surpassing of oneself to open the doors of the amazing?
Through this prism, the creator insists on the refusal of the human condition boundaries and its infirmity. The shapes and the borders are not static nor absolute. They are malleable as desired thanks to the thought, and this has something exceptional, something monstrous like the last personality of Kevin.
Credits : Glass
Thanks to this trilogy, Shyamalan delivers a significant introspection. He evokes the meta-human myth from the sensitive angle of the awakening of the self and the introspective investigation. The concern that arouses the need to identify is correctly transcribed into the films. But to which extent can we reject the frontiers of the self without becoming dangerous for the others?
Elodie Cure is an Expert Contributor to ComiConverse. Follow her on Twitter @Elodie_Cure 

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