Split (2016 Film) is without a doubt, a tour de force showcase by James McAvoy. But don’t watch the movie expecting theatrical persona switches or gory moments.
Split (2016 Film) Synopsis
Loner Casey Cooke, and her schoolmates Claire and Marcia, are kidnapped by a mysterious stranger after hanging out together. During captivity, they discover to their great horror that their kidnapper, Kevin, possesses many starkly different personalities. Meanwhile, Karen Fletcher, Kevin’s long-time therapist, receives emails from several of Kevin’s personalities, all begging for help. Upon investigation, she realises that the more violent split personalities of Kevin might have staged an uprising. These violent personas aim to bring forth a new “24th” personality. A monstrosity known only as the Beast.
So much have been written about Split (2016 Film) since its release, I’m really at a loss at how to do this snappy movie review. Therefore, I’m going to go the lazy route (again) and resort to point(y) form.
- I think even the most demanding reviewers would be impressed by James McAvoy’s incredible versatility. That said, I was wrong to expect magical transformations. In fact, McAvoy relies on many devices, such as clothes and accessories changes, to reinforce the switches. This is not a downer, though. To his and Shyamalan’s credit, these devices are believably presented.
- With all the hype about the 23 split personalities, I expected at least ten to make appearances. Well, didn’t happen and I was mildly disappointed. On hindsight, this was probably a right decision by M. Night Shyamalan. To do so would have made the plot terribly confusing. To assist differentiation of so many personalities would have required excessive use of stereotypes too.
- Shyamalan’s masterful use of first-person perspective, and detached commentary, injects the movie with a gripping suspense that’s quite unlike most other recent horror features. I think the description “macabre” is really fulfilled here. You are unnerved, but you can’t stop watching. You just can’t stop watching.
- The climactic confrontation was a little, what’s the word, lacklustre. Admittedly, something more dramatic or gory would have broken the ambience of the movie. But still …
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