Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Writer: M. Night Shyamalan
Released: January 2017
Starring: James McAvoy and Betty Buckley
Another brilliant film from M. Night Shyamalan. It’s the best kind of story – the kind that you’ll be thinking about for days.
For me, Split is a return to Shyamalan’s trademark of well-rounded characters and fantastic storylines. It’s a film that echoes the genius of The Village and The Sixth Sense.
Split is about a man called Kevin Wendell-Crumb (James McAvoy, whose talent will be gushed upon shortly) who has 23 personalities. He kidnaps three girls and keeps them hostage. All the while, one of the three girls cottons on to his multiple personalities, and tries to manipulate one of them – a nine-year-old boy – to help them escape. But, will they be able to escape before the mysterious 24th personality reveals itself?
I can’t explain how remarkable McAvoy is in this film. I know McAvoy as Mr Tumnus from the Narnia films, we named our goat Mr Tumnus after his portrayal of this character because we loved him so much.
Every one of McAvoy’s personalities in this film is so believable, especially Patricia. Oh my goodness, she’s scary. The crazy thing is, you feel relieved when you realise McAvoy’s character is the nine-year-old, and petrified when he’s Patricia, even though he’s physically the same person. That’s how talented he is. He can morph himself into different people seemlessly.
I didn’t think much of the hostages’ acting. They were mostly appearing dumb-founded with a lot of silent, wide-eyed staring. But I was fascinated by the psychiatrist in the film, Dr Karen Fletcher (Betty Buckley). Buckley’s acting was phenomenal. I was hooked on every word she said; she was so articulate and fascinating. So actually, perhaps I should say kudos to the screen writing. Nevertheless, along with McAvoy, she was great.
I was expecting a horror, but this is actually a thriller. More than that, it is a sequel to the thriller Unbreakable (featuring Bruce Willis), and a prequel to a thriller called Glass, which is set to be released next year! I’m on that like white on rice.
I thoroughly enjoyed this film. If you loved Shyamalan’s films from the early days, then you’ll love this too. Brilliant writing, fantastic casting, and horrifyingly complex characters and theories that will have you dwelling on the film for days.
Highly recommend seeing it.
Jodie’s rating: 8.5/10