Wednesday, January 18, 2017




After three girls are kidnapped by a man with 24 distinct personalities they must find some of the different personalities that can help them while running away and staying alive from the others.

Split (2016) on IMDb

Reviews 10 user | 36 critic

While the mental divisions of those with dissociative identity disorder have long fascinated and eluded science, it is believed that some can also manifest unique physical attributes for each personality, a cognitive and physiological prism within a single being. Though Kevin has evidenced 23 personalities to his trusted psychiatrist, Dr Fletcher, there remains one still submerged who is set to materialise and dominate all the others. Compelled to abduct three teenage girls led by the willful, observant Casey, Kevin reaches a war for survival among all of those contained within him - as well as everyone around him - as the walls between his compartments shatter apart.

Rating: PG-13 (for disturbing thematic content and behaviour, violence and some language)
Directed By: M. Night Shyamalan
Written By: M. Night Shyamalan
In Theaters: Jan 20, 2017, Wide
Runtime: 116 minutes

Average Rating: 7/10
Reviews Counted: 21
Fresh: 17
Rotten: 4

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

WANT TO SEE 97% want to see
User Ratings: 12,917

Meet Hedwig, he's nine. He likes to dance in his room to the music of his favourite singer Kanye West. ©Universal Pictures

M. Night Shyamalan might have gotten his groove back...

Okay, so Split, M. Night Shyamalan's 13th directorial effort and the 11th one that he also wrote. He's famous for his plot twists which worked real well in The Sixth Sense (1999) and in Unbreakable (2000) but then didn't in pretty much every movie after. His movies slowly became sort of a joke in that you know you're in for something weird and interesting but one where the weird might end up a little silly. Of course, I'm just exaggerating. 

This is Dennis. He's stern, is an OCD and he really hates it when things get dirty. ©Universal Pictures

So what's Split about? Well, by now you've probably seen the trailers so you know that it's about a man played by James McAvoy who suffers from something called Dissociative identity disorder or DID which was previously known as Multiple personality disorder (MPD) in movies they usually call those characters as having a split personality. In this case, Mr Kevin Wendell Crumb has 23 distinct personalities which have been identified by his long-term psychiatrist Dr Karen Fletcher (Betty Buckley). What Dr Fletcher doesn't know is that a few of these personalities have sort of taken over in order to prepare for the coming of what they refer to as The Beast. Part of the preparation, of course, is what you see in the trailer where one of Kevin personalities named Dennis kidnaps three girls, Casey Cooke (Anya Taylor-Joy), Claire Benoit (Haley Lu Richardson) and Marcia (Jessica Sula). As the film unfolds not only do you learn about Kevin, The Beast and his many personalities but also about Casey who has quite a story of her own. 

This is Barry. He likes fashion and has quite a talent for it. ©Universal Pictures

The likes.
  • The story. It's really quite good and intriguing. You're really not too sure of what's going to happen. And each element to the story just reveals itself at the right time.
  • The cast. The main characters that you'll be following are Kevin and his multiple personalities, Dr. Fletcher and Casey. James McAvoy is just amazing here. He plays each character so well and distinctly and he transitions between them so well. You can tell which personality has taken over just by looking at his face or body language. Anya Taylor-Joy is pretty amazing too. I've only seen her in one other film which was last years Morgan, and I was pretty impressed with her there too. Here she really gets to flex her acting chops and she's pretty good. And Betty Buckley was also just as good as you can sense her concern turning to suspicion of something wrong with her patient. 
  • The music. Really provides ambience and drives the scene.
  • The other cameo other than the one you expect of M. Night Shyamalan who shows up in all of his own movies. Very cool. 

The not so likes.

Hmm... let's see. I guess there are glaring plot holes but they really don't get in the way of the story or of enjoying the story. I'm sure there are things that a real movie critic can pick on and rip this movie to shreds but for me, at this very moment, I can't think of any. Maybe I'll fill this in when I think of something.

And Dennis kidnapped these girls because The Beast told him to. ©Universal Pictures

So there you go. A movie written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan that I actually enjoyed. I can remember when I last enjoyed an M. Night Shyamalan movie, it was The Sixth Sense ()1999) and Unbreakable (2000). The question I guess then is, is Split as good as those two? Hard to say, too much time has passed since then but on its own merit, it is good. Go for the story, go for James McAvoy who does an impressive job and looks like he's having fun doing it. Just go. It's been a long time since M. Night Shyamalan has done something this good. If you're wary, give him the benefit of the doubt and go read some of the other early reviews by actual movie critics. But from this casual movie fan, the verdict is in and Split is well worth the price of admission. 

I'm giving Split a solid 4 out of 5

Check out the trailer below.



Post a Comment