Review: Split (2016)

“You like to make fun of us, but we are more powerful than you think.”
– Dennis

SYNOPSIS: Three girls are kidnapped by a man with a diagnosed 23 distinct personalities. They must try to escape before the apparent emergence of a frightful new 24th. – via IMDB

This is something I wanted to check out for a multitude of reasons. The front-runner being McAvoy, let’s not play, but another being that it seems M Night Shyamalan is making a tentative comeback. Apparently. I still need to see The Visit, though I have started watching Wayward Pines, which I see he has a hand in (UPDATE: it’s gone horribly wrong, unfortunately). Anyway, the only thing I knew about this is that McAvoy plays a character who suffers from Disassociative Identity Disorder.

Well, right off the top of my head, McAvoy is, unsurprisingly, great here. Really. When he gets to sink his teeth into bizarre roles, he really shines. He can pretty much play it all, and he is without a doubt the part of this film that keeps it truly engaging, seeing as the entire movie depends on his portrayal and his role. Each one of his personalities was distinctly different from the last, from speech to mannerisms and body language. I really liked that. Ana Taylor-Joy is also very good here, and I thoroughly enjoyed her. I liked her character, and thought she and McAvoy played off each other quite well, and she held her own really well, making her more than just the kidnapped girl on the side. Betty Buckley, too, was quite good, though you really need to question how she did not investigate more thoroughly what was going on when certain personalities/alters were evidently desperate for her help.

Anyway, a lot of people had a lot more to say about this than I am going to. I liked the way it was done, and thought the pacing was good, because the story gets rolling pretty quickly, and then gives you all that time to watch McAvoy splinter and Casey fight for survival, trying to be cunning and escape unharmed, who constantly has us wondering about her past, which we get these flashbacks for throughout, delivered at exactly the right moments. Man, what a messed up story! This movie really is all about the characters, and I feel that they were balanced quite well.

Anyway, Split handles itself well, and is carried by solid performances from McAvoy and Taylor-Joy. It is engrossing, and truly draws you into this bizarre story and crazy world, and Shyamalan style presents many twists and turns, some you see coming/guess at, and others you don’t. Split is quite silly in a lot of aspects, and yet manages to present itself as quite serious. It blends the ludicrous and heaviness rather well. Definitely worth checking out if you haven’t already.

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