Shyamalan makes another comeback
After a long streak of unpopular and low-quality films, M. Night Shyamalan has finally delivered with his latest suspense film, Split. As one of the more highly-anticipated films of 2017, Split also restored my faith in modern horror and proved that new ideas are still being generated in the minds of artists today.
The audience follows three major characters throughout the movie: Casey, a troubled teenage girl; Kevin, a man with Dissociative Identity Disorder; and Kevin’s psychologist, Dr. Fletcher. After kidnapping three teenage girls, Kevin’s 23 identities war with one another for precious moments in “the light.”
Shyamalan’s brilliant mind shows all angles of each character and gives each identity a unique set of traits, an accent and mannerisms. Actor James McAvoy, known for his role as young Professor Xavier in the recent X-Men films, plays Kevin and his identities, and he makes incredible shifts in acting styles throughout the film. His characters are not only memorable but also relatable and likeable. Even those most menacing are exciting to watch on screen.
Though I found some major plot points to be predictable, McAvoy’s character was always a surprise. Another character I took a particular interest in was Dr. Fletcher, who seems to have almost as much screen time as Casey, the main character. She was a scientist with a passion and a goal, and she truly cared for her patients.
Of all of Kevin’s identities, my favorite was Dennis because he not only stood out for his OCD, but he was also cold and serious, though there were times he would show emotions of gratitude. I also found Casey as well as the two other girls, Claire and Marcia, to be fascinating characters because they were all resourceful, independent and had different methods of dealing with their troubling situation.
The ending of the film was not as shocking as I had hoped it would be, but Shyamalan took care to add just another twist to keep the audience on the edge of their seats even as the credits began to roll. The ending hinted at a possible sequel or a sister film in the same universe.
At no point during the movie was I disappointed, and I am excited to see what more Shyamalan has in store. It is rated PG-13, but there are dark themes that I would not recommend for more innocent viewers. Split has a powerful message and astounding characters and actors any moviegoer would not want to miss.