Split is directed by M. Night Shyamalan and stars James McAvoy, Betty Buckley and Anya Taylor-Joy and tells the story of a diagnosed patient who suffers from MPD (multiple personality disorder) enabling him to enhance the power of 23 different personalities. After one of the personalities kidnaps three girls they must try to escape before the frightful 24th personality emerges.
After a rather mediocre few years, one can safely say that Split is a huge comeback for Shyamalan and very much puts him back in the game. We are all treated to a very layered film that develops as we are engulfed in this psychological thriller that thankfully doesn't rely on loud climatic music and jump scares to be as unsettling as it is. McAvoy draws all attention to him as he takes on a bundle of characters that pleasing contrast to one another, the film never feels over crowded by the abundance of McAvoy, they briskly take your through the different personalities and then stick to significant ones that play a larger role throughout the rest of the film. Impressively McAvoy doesn't need any significant costumes to get into character, his performance is strikingly obvious enough to differ from other personalities and as an audience we see him take on so many different roles, yet gives each one a completely different significance in the right moments. Buckley played as a nice little distraction from the main event that occurs in the film, however doesn't lead the focus of the film away but allows for some incredibly effective character development for not only McAvoy and his many personalities but also for Buckley as we see her importance shine through. For a first time experience of actress Anya Taylor-Joy she did a beautiful job as a extremely broken teenage who is built up from so many different layers and depths of emotion. As we see how she develops, and opens up throughout her time in captivity.
As the core of this film, the ingeniously original idea displayed by Shyamalan allows the concept of McAvoy's multiple personalities to branch off into a full length feature film, fantastically creating a whole universe that revolves around this one idea. Whilst at times the film can loose it's pace during more slow burning scenes, Shyamalan demonstrates the ability to create such a structured world surrounding this one character. However sometimes it feels as if the film has all these tools to create something amazing, but doesn't always know what to do with them. A lot of the time the film falls victim to being slightly inaccurate, quite a few of the scenes in the film were too long and noticeably dragged on a bit, they somewhat don't add any significance to the plot. However Split charmingly builds suspense with it's slow, erie score and wonderfully angled camera shots, however there is the argument that the film could have been even more frightening than it was with a little more tension. The final act marks the film's fastest pace yet, things finally tie together beautifully as we are ultimately shown the truly unforeseen extent of Kevin's disorder, tension is certainly at it's highest and fans of a certain film will, to say the least, be blow away by Shyamalan's spectacular ending. The choice of ending adds so much more originality to the film allowing it carry out it's most successful trait which it has done throughout, that being it's strikingly different concept. Gladly, it doesn't fall victim to hollywood ending tropes and clichés and gives us a more alternative ending, that post inspection is incredibly well done.
In the end, Split is a really enjoyable experience that adds a lot more originality to the genre. Whilst slow paced in a good way but sometimes not and sometimes feeling a little confused, not knowing completely what to do with itself. Satisfyingly creepy and stunningly acted from all parts.
I am going to give Split:
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Hi I’m James - a huge welcome to my film blog! I started this site just after my 14th birthday and have been bringing you my own take on the hottest box office arrivals and many art house triumphs ever since.