IMDb Rating: 7,3/10
Genres: Horror, Thriller
Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Writer: M. Night Shyamalan
Stars: James McAvoy, Anya Taylor-Joy, Haley Lu Richardson
It’s not a fact that there are so many movies tells about a person’s mental illness. The most difficult to make is about the multiple personalities and how the actor can play both characters in turn. All I have reviewed so far are “Fight Club” and “Primal Fear,” both starred Edward Norton and became one of the powerful plot twists movies ever, even though it’s not too dramatic in this circumstance. After his success in “The Visit,” M. Night Shyamalan strikes again in this second series of the Eastrail 177 trilogy, “Split.” The two personality characters have become a normal thing which has been used as a concept in several movies but what if about the 23 personalities in one body? This movie explores a person’s psychology what states and imagination in its mind.
Though Kevin has evidenced 23 personalities to his trusted psychiatrist, Dr. Fletcher, there remains one still submerged who is set to materialize and dominate all of the others. Compelled to abducting 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 compartment shatter.
Talking about Kevin Wendell as James McAvoy he’s so great when having a deep viewpoint, sometimes funny, sometimes horrible, and sometimes sad. Apart from not of all, he represents 23 personalities, “Split” can only highlight four characters which are no more than that. The rest, it would refer to spoilers. From his role to Dennis as an obsessive-compulsive person, Hedwig as a 9-year-old innocent kid, Patricia with her flamboyant feminine side with his thick British accents, Barry as an artist and fashionable, imagine if James McAvoy won an Oscar in this case where Oscar would provide 23 awards for one person in 23 characters. It’s funny, I think. James McAvoy is great at this movie because he’s really strong to portray those characters in turn and swiftly especially at the tape scene when James introduces all of his characters even it’s not all. We learn about his character, his past, his soul, and his other diverse traits in one person but the most dominant of all is Hedwig which I think is the most unique. I laughed out loud every he changes of his character but this movie always keeps its seriousness. Sometimes funny but sometimes serious especially at the dance scene and others. His alter ego keeps him haunting up to fill those 23 characters in the same memory where we as the audience also need some imagination in order to imagine these characters meeting at the same place.
As the opening scene opened with an abduction of three teenage girls by Kevin, the three teenagers were held captive in the basement where they were confused because this man always changed his clothes and his behavior that made him so weird. We learn about this movie and suggest, what is the purpose of this abduction? As the story progresses, the movie is used in a non-linear style. We will understand how Kevin’s character relates to Dr. Fletcher as a psychologist. Speaking of Dr. Fletcher, I think Betty Buckley deserves at this point. She can control the situation from Kevin’s character who can changes his characters frequently, guessing his mindset, and trying to learn the characteristics of each character. The scene when she tries to guess who the character he is talking to is such a mindblowing scene because she knows so well the way he speaks, gesture, and characteristics.
Although viewers were focused on by the three teenagers at the first, the most notable of the three teenagers were Anya Taylor-Joy as Casey Cooke. Speaking about Anya, she is doing a great job in this movie from her calm appearance as if someone had so many dark flashbacks, her expression was sometimes afraid, but she did it together with James McAvoy. But, it’s not weird that I like to find it when her expression always astonished by something she sees and she’s often found like when she only being silence for a few seconds to not make a decision and when she saw James changing his characters frequently. We learn about Casey why she can be so calm. The movie will tell you about the differences between the current time and Casey’s vivid flashback, but we immediately understand it as it seen at the end. As M. Night Shyamalan who always adds a twist at the end of his movies by combining a powerful fiction element, the movie doesn’t seem too memorable in such a way. The ending credit is my most personal favorite when David Dunn showed it as a cameo from “Unbreakable,” I feel like my nerd side surfaces from the ashes. But, this movie combines both realistic and fictional elements. It’s not what you expect but the plot is unpredictable.
The background in this movie is somewhat similar to “10 Cloverfield Lane,” “Room,” and “12 Angry Man.” In this case, “12 Angry Man” doesn’t apply too much but is the same as “10 Cloverfield Lane” with “Room” which used one room with the outside environment at the end of the movie. “Split” went on and on in each scene when Kevin visited his psychiatric and Casey’s flashback. The humor is likely and the thriller element is so dominating in this movie. Plus, the West Dylan Thordson’s score maintains the suspense yet thriller atmosphere as if it’s more than a psychological thriller. There is some drama in it but not too much. One of my minor problems with this movie is the pace. Maybe, it’s just me but the movie seems to have unnecessary segments. The conflict is also immediately explained at the beginning of the movie along with the interesting and main points. However, this movie always felt little by little. The two main characters besides Casey are also pointless. The two of them are forgettable, but sometimes are most focused on makes this movie feel less important in these matters.
“Split” is one that has interesting points inside. James McAvoy as 23 personalities deserves an award to perform the four most prominent characters. The problem is the rest of the characters are not too explained I hope “Glass” will explore more of these other characters. Anya Taylor-Joy was so superb along with Betty Buckley as a side plot. They both seemed to have their own story for James McAvoy and performed an important role in each of them. “Split” isn’t as memorable when talking about a twist because I don’t find things like those which it found by people but this movie is such an absolute trick that M. Night Shyamalan has made.