Tuesday, 30 August 2011



There's a certain knack to plot twists. The ideal is that it's the climax of the movie that sends you mentally re-running the film to work out how it holds up now you know who Keyser Soze is or what Bruce Willis is in The Sixth Sense - or even going to see it again. In the case of The Usual Suspects it's in the last few minutes of the film, in the best of Shyamalan's films it's usually in the third act. But if you drop that bomb too early it gives the audience time to work out where the plot's going in the light of this new information. Sadly, this British psychological crime drama/thriller gives us the Big Reveal a long way from the end, and the reality is then predictable from some way off.

Maybe its open to debate who The Glass Man is - perhaps Martin Pyrite (Andy Nyman), a middle-ranking manager with a luxury car, a massive house, a beautiful wife (Neve Campbell with an English accent) and a terrible secret: he's been ignominiously fired for whistleblowing and the debts are mounting up, and if beaten enough will shatter into a million shards. Or the mysterious and initially threatening Pecco (James Cosmo) who turns up out of nowhere and agrees to waive some of Pyrite's debts if he will assist him on a clearly criminal enterprise that very night - maybe he's The Glass Man, if for no other reason on the grounds that no-one else seems to be aware of his presence.

Once that card is played, however, there's really only one way things can end and inevitably it's pretty much what you'd predict. It's generally well made and shot (although the sound recording or mixing is not great and much dialogue is lost) and Andy Nyman is terrific. But against that the character of Martin Pyrite is annoying and he could have easily got out of his financial difficulties by selling that four-storey mansion of his. The other problem with THAT twist and THAT ending is that you end up wondering [1] where did the gun come from, and [2] which other characters in this movie are projections of Pyrite's crumbling personality or figments of his imagination?Personally I'd have found it much more powerful if it turned out everyone was real and there were these sinister forces out there that would help you out in times of crisis - but for an unspeakable price.

So ultimately The Glass Man is sadly a disappointment. It's a well made film but it's a frustrating one and should (and could) have been far more interesting. There's still good stuff in there, but the plot lets it down.


(Incidentally, I might be The Glass Man - hurrying for my train out of St Pancras this morning I ran smack into the glass wall of the ticket office, bruising my face, twisting my knee and keeling over like some kind of drunken imbecile in a force ten gale. The glass wall was undamaged. Missed the fast train on account of being sprawled all over the floor of the ticket office and had to catch the slow train that stops at Harpenden and Luton Airport Parkway. Am now in pain.)

1 comment:

Desiree said...

I just want to know how this movie ends. That's all. Can you or anyone please tell me? It doesn't look like it got any wide release. All I want to know is what the twist is. Thank you!