MIRACLES CAN HAPPEN! SHYAMALAN HAS REDEEMED HIMSELF!
It is official… Director M. Night Shyamalan has found his redemption in the form of Split. Two years ago, his film, The Visit, gave us a hint that he is returning to form, but there was something missing. He finally got his mojo back and delivered us this gem.
Kevin (James McAvoy) kidnaps three teenagers, Casey (Anya Taylor-Joy), Claire (Haley Lu Richardson), and Marcia (Jessica Sula). All hope to persuade Kevin dissolves when the three teenagers discover that he suffers from dissociative identity disorder. In his case, he possesses 23 unique personalities. A 24th one, known as The Beast, will soon emerge and plans to devour them. Meanwhile, Kevin regularly visits his psychiatrist (Betty Buckley) to assure her nothing is wrong.
The trinity of this film, McAvoy, Taylor-Joy, and Buckley, delivered very well. Buckley’s character reminds me a lot of Dr. Sam Loomis of the Halloween franchise. They’re both well-known psychiatrist trying to guide and find cure to their respective patients. Taylor-Joy’s performance shows such frailty and control at the same time. And McAvoy is simply phenomenal in this film. Those little gestures and body movements make all personalities truly seem like different people. When he is “Hedwig”, he is really a child who never kissed a girl before. When he is “Dennis”, he is really a controlling person with OCD.
The film manages to give this sense of claustrophobia and dread. You will feel like you are one of the captives. The music provided by West Dylan Thordson captures the sense of helplessness and fear the teenagers feel during the duration of their capture.
AND THE ENDING! That ending blew my mind! It opens endless possibilities to the world of Shyamalan movies. The beauty of it is that Shyamalan knows that the general public is looking for a plot twist. The film does not have one! Yeah, sure there is one big impending doom that is The Beast, but it was given in the trailers already. The ending simply takes everything into a new plane of narrative.
However, that ending might only be understood by people familiar with Shyamalan’s early work. In fact, I was the only one who marked out when the ending was revealed.
Split is one of the best Shyamalan films and definitely the best in his line of work for the past ten years. With its chilling music, claustrophobic environment and cinematography, amazing and engaging performances from McAvoy and Taylor-Joy, and an ending no one expected at all, this film is definitely…