Split is predicted as the psychological thriller of the year. For anyone who’s seen it, the answer is a resounding cheer in agreement. M. Night Shyamalan has the type of mental charisma perfect for keeping the audience on the edge of its seat, but not necessarily the guy you want to take home to meet the parents. Don’t misunderstand, he’s definitely written his share of stinkers, but this ain’t one of ‘em.
For those who like to watch twenty people get sliced and diced in as many different ways, Split isn’t going to do much for you. Watching this film is a mind screw, especially for those who truly relate to Casey, the lead actress, played by Anya Taylor-Joy as she delves into what is the true constitution of Hell.
One of Kevin’s personalities follows two friends for four days with the intention of sacrificing them to the newest addition of the Hoard. (The name the media has tagged onto the killer.) But when he makes his move, they have an extra and unintended friend, Casey, who’s sort of the outcast of the trio. The question runs through the audience’s mind as to what will happen to the unplanned guest. But I can’t tell you that!
Kevin’s psychiatrist, Dr. Karen Fletcher played by Betty Buckley, tries desperately to convince him he’s improving and that the 24th personality doesn’t exist. After all, she’s truly come to love Kevin and the others the same way a mother loves her child. But the doctor grows increasingly concerned for him.
Not much time passes before Casey meets prim and proper “Patricia,” allowing her awareness of her captor’s mental instability and multiple personality disorder. Unlike her panicked cohorts, Casey has learned through lessons of her father, the benefits of biding her time and carefully surmising a situation before running around like a woman with her skirt on fire. She befriends Hedwig, the nine-year-old personality who speaks with an insecure lisp, (and riles the audience with laughter on occasion) before playing upon his naivety by befriending him, hoping he’ll help.
We’ll definitely be seeing more of this actress. However, the name we’ll see lighting up awards ceremonies this year will be that of the main character(s) played in an outstanding manner by Scotland-born James McAvoy. I’ve seen actors have difficulty playing one role in a film, their accent comes and goes, you know what I mean. But this guy manages to pull off playing multiple parts with more than intonation, pitch, etc. McAvoy’s entire countenance and physical mannerisms change. (Hate to be on a date with this dude, because he could really have a great time at my expense.)
While this movie doesn’t necessarily contain a lot of visible gore, let’s be frank, it’s really our own minds that scare us. And for anyone who believes that to be true, Split is a film you do not want to miss before it leaves the theater. The real question begging us is will we hate Kevin in the end? I seriously doubt it. You may even be a bit jealous of him.
For now, remember what my friend Barry says, “We are what we think we are.”
Out of 5 stars, this one will get 5, thanks to James McAvoy’s amazingly convincing acting skills. He allows the audience to know who he is before opening his mouth. Bravo, James!