Hello, fellow moviegoers!
Split is the latest film to be directed by M. Night Shyamalan, and it stars James McAvoy, Anya Taylor-Joy, Haley Lu Richardson, and Jessica Sula. When three teenage girls are kidnapped by a stranger after a birthday party, they quickly realize their kidnapper is not an average person. He suffers from Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), in this case, he has a whopping 23 different personalities. M. Night Shyamalan is known for his intuitive and thrilling films, but he has made some not-so-great movies in the past. So does Split live up to expectations?
Split was a movie that I was looking forward to seeing. I had heard good things about it, and I was curious to see James McAvoy play this character with 23 personalities. I was hoping that it would be good. What I did not expect, was how great this movie would be. Split undoubtedly lives up to the hype and even exceeds it at times! It was a truly thrilling movie that's not afraid to go in unexpected directions.
The thing that really makes this film great is its lead character. It wasn't any of the three kidnapped girls (although the actresses did good jobs). It was their kidnapper, Kevin. His character was an extremely interesting one to watch, partially because you had no idea what he was going to do next. Over the course of the film, you see the internal struggles that he is having over what is going on. Not internal struggles the way we typically see them in films, but rather his different personalities having different opinions about the situation and different approaches to handling it.
There were several decisions made throughout this film that, had they been made differently, could’ve ruined the film. However, they were well thought out choices and ultimately they added a lot. One decision was to not actually show all 23 personalities in depth. We get brief glimpses of a majority of them, but the film mainly focuses on about five or six of them. Instead of trying to do too much and build up all 23 personalities evenly, Split focuses on these few and really develops them. That decision really paid off because, by the end of the movie, the audience could remember several of the personalities by name and identify them, which is more than some movies can say about their single-personality main character.
This character was only highlighted by James McAvoy’s performance. He played every personality of this character extremely well. Switching between personalities, he did more than just change his voice. His body language changed, his facial expressions would distort, and he would legitimately become someone else. There are several scenes throughout the movie where you see McAvoy switch personalities, and those were some of my favorite scenes. They don't cut away and come back to him as someone else. They let the scene marinate and through McAvoy’s subtleties, you can identify the moment that he has become someone else. It was nothing short of amazing.
Split was a fantastic movie which was made even better by its main character. This film made the smart decision to narrow its focus and not bite off more than it can chew. James McAvoy’s performance was extremely convincing, and the film handles its suspense extremely well. This is by no means a horror movie, but it does have some thrilling elements sprinkled into it. I would very highly recommend Split, especially if you’re a fan of M. Night Shyamalan’s older work, such as Unbroken.
So what did you think of Split? Without spoilers, what did you think of the ending to the film? Let me know by commenting on this post! Also, if you enjoyed this review, share it on Facebook and Twitter. It really helps! Don’t forget, I post every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, so check back then for more movie reviews and miscellaneous movie thoughts!
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