Director – M. Night Shyamalan

Last Looks

“Split” has to be one of the most anticipated films of the year for me. What has really got me pumped is that James Mccavoy has long been one of my favorite actors and M. Night Shyamalan the man behind some of the cinemas greatest films such as “The Sixth Sense” and “Unbreakable” is in the directors chair. Psychological thrillers are also my favorite genre because they keep me on the edge of my seat and I like anticipating how the story is going to turn out. I maybe over hyping but I would double down on “Split” in a heart beat as odds are there is no way this film won’t be awesome.

Breakdown

Three teenage girls Claire (Haley Lu Richardson) Marcia (Jessica Sula) and outcast Casey (Anya Taylor-Joy)get abducted and locked in a basement by “Dennis” the dominant one of the 23 personalities that live inside Kevin Crumb (James Mccavoy) a psychopath with dissociative identity disorder and a victim of child abuse. Each time Kevin would check in on the three ladies he would be consumed by one of his different personas with their own unique characteristics. Kevin maintains a close relationship with his therapist Karen Fletcher (Betty Buckley) who is familiar with each one of his personas. Claire and Marcia both had failed attempts of  attacking “Dennis” and escaping but were both caught and locked into separate compartments. Casey however because of her troubled past attempts to befriend Kevin and wait for the opportune moment. Dr. Fletcher receives multiple emails by Kevin’s other personalities that claim that “Dennis” is starting to take over them as a whole. She gets worried and decides to go to Kevin’s house and realizes he has kidnapped the young ladies and tries to help them but is caught by “Dennis” and knocked unconscience herself.  With all of the tension from this situation becoming way to much for Kevin to handle he runs into a subway car and a 24th personality “The Beast” is born. A violent creature with anomalistic abilities and a destructive attitude who goes back to wreak havoc on his captives.

Nose Candy

“The brain has learned to magically defending itself”

“There’s a flower on the pillows, a flower in the bathroom, like we’re important.”

” Don’t worry. He’s not allowed to touch you. He knows what you’re here for. He listens to me.”

“One personality is a russian weightlifter that has the power to lift three times his body weight”

“I am going to ask again who am I speaking with now”

Style Points

  • Blur focus on Casey singling her out as in outcast
  • Good style and mystery with the dad being approached and assaulted though the view in the side car mirror during abduction
  • Overhead shot when Claire tries to escape through the ceiling
  • View from the crack in the door
  • The flashbacks to Casey as a child
  • Point of view shot when Casey was holding the gun to her uncle
  • The beast unleashed on the subways and Spider man shot as he walks up the wall
  • Flashback to Kevin’s childhood being chased by his mother
  • Close up the gash on Casey’s leg
  • Kevin going back and forth in the mirror having a conversation with his different personas

Role Play

Kevin Crumb (James Mccavoy)- I almost had the urge to do 24 of these to represent his many characters in this film. Mccavoy long one of my favorite actors definitely over impressed with his effort in this film. His brilliance was well on display as I felt the transitions in and out of personas and the uniqueness of each emersion was exceptional. My favorite persona was definitely Hedwig the nine-year old with the lisp. Great performance that I felt far exceeded a good film.

Karen Fletcher (Betty Buckley)- I enjoyed her nurturing in this film it is just at times her character seemed way too naive almost senile at certain points. She should know someone this deranged does not need to be in society and she was way to shocked when he finally snapped.

Casey Cooke (Anya Taylor-Joy) hopefully this is a breakthrough role for her as I felt she did a great job alongside such a heavyweight like Mccavoy. She was very sympathetic in this film and I am actually glad she is really young not a 30-year-old playing a teenager which added some realism for me.

Money Shot

When Casey was at the bottom of the cellar as she raised a shotgun to “The Beast”. A flashback ensues to her as little girl with a gun as she had the opportunity to shoot her uncle who was abusing her. This was a powerful scene as finally Casey stands up for herself and was not going to hesitate the next time she was in a situation where she could be harmed.

Final Touch

“Split” definitely met my expectations. I don’t know if I would put this up there as a great film yet but I have a feeling I am going to like it even more upon additional watches. The only thing is that I don’t know if this film has staying power. It is hard to have great movies with classic lines anymore. If this movie came out 15 years ago this would be considered a ground braking film. I like the tie in to “Unbreakable” at the end as well as it is rare when directors make the decision to reference or put their past films in the same cinematic universe. Spoiler Alert the Bruce Willis appearance made me jump and left the door open for another project. The scenes between Kevin talking with his psychiatrist went on way too long. I almost felt that this film could have been 20 minutes less.  The underlying story was powerful as sometimes heroism can come from dramatic events. The transitions from the different personalities by Mccavoy were really intriguing.  “Split” is great work that will keep audiences very satisfied while definitely wanting another piece.

-C.H.