I have wanted to watch this movie since it came out. I’ve been obsessed with M. Night Shyamalan since Sixth Sense. Thats right: the mastermind behind the iconic “I see dead people” is also behind this other masterpiece. Disclaimer: This is my personal opinion of what I thought about the movie. I’m in no way agreeing or disagreeing with any entity. Some images in the movie are distressing, so viewer discretion is advised.
STORY: Three girls are kidnapped by a man with an extremely rare and unusual personality disorder harboring 23 unique identities. The girls are perplexed by his motives as they witness his different personas – all they know is that they need to escape from this dangerous and unpredictable man.
ACTUAL REVIEW: ‘Split’ immerses you into the chilling and twisted world of its characters as they descend into their individual versions of hell. On one hand, we have the antagonist, Kevin Wendell Crumb (played by James McAvoy), whose personas range from charming to downright menacing, sadistic and plain cray.
Along with his therapist Dr. Karen Fletcher (Betty Buckley), the audience, underestimate the extent, and potential of his condition. Then there’s Casey Cooke (Anya Taylor-Joy), one of the three kidnapped girls with a genuinely horrifying backstory leading to thea trademark Shyamalan twist ending.
Anya Taylor-Joy displays courage and heart-wrenching vulnerability as Casey. She would steal the limelight if not for a career-defining performance by James McAvoy. Kevin’s complex personas – each with their own quirks ranging from speech impediments to unique body language; which McAvoy pins down all the way to the twitches – results in an unsettling experience which sets ‘Split’ apart from others in its genre. However, the intricacy of the story makes for a deterrent – albeit essential to the eventual climax. There’s a fair amount of exposition about Kevin’s condition – dissociative identity disorder.
The moments leading up to the final showdown were all perfectly depicted by McAvoy and Taylor-Joy whose onscreen chemistry really put the movie way up there. Shyamalan did a spectacular job with this film, which will have a sequel named ‘Glass’ and will be out in 2019. The film is the standalone sequel to 2000’s ‘Unbreakable’ which stars Bruce Willis and Samuel L Jackson, both of which will reprise their roles in ‘Glass’, and was also a Shyamalan masterpiece.
I really enjoyed watching this movie. The depiction of dissociative identity disorder is on point. The 20+ personalities were all meticulously portrayed by James McAvoy – who gives me life. I love you, James! – and Anya’s portrayal of Casey was beautiful. I loved this movie a lot, so I recommend it.