How does this film’s attempt at a realistic or plausible variation on the theme of superheroes work as compared with more mainstream films in that genre? How does Elijah Price’s disease, and his mother’s attempts to counter his fear, lead him to believe comic books contain a kernel of truth with regard to people that are physically impervious to harm, and how does this lead him to discover David Dunn? How does Elijah attempt to convince Dunn that he needs to play the role of protector? What was Elijah’s ultimate purpose in causing catastrophic incidents, including the train derailment that opens the action for Dunn? How does the scene at the train station, where Dunn intuits or sees various crimes illustrate a more realistic or down-to-earth superhero theme, in that he must conduct a sort of triage before he acts? How effective is the effort to place the super-hero theme in a more restrained and realistic environment, and how does it motivate the dilemmas the characters face? How does Shyamalan work with the comic book genre’s notion of a fatal weakness in order to ground and make plausible Dunn’s superior abilities?

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