Gilbert Speaks on M. Night Shyamalan’s Film, Split

3 Jun

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Yea, I know! I’m really late with my review of “Split” but I’ve only just seen it on Comcast’s Demand. Why did I wait so long to see this film? I have no idea. But, having finally seen it, I’ve got plenty to say. Meet me after the jump for the review.

Plot

I am a big fan of M. Night Shyamalan, and although there have been a few of his films that I wasn’t crazy about: The Village; Lady in the Water; The Last Airbender; there were several of his films that I will watch over and over and over again: Sixth Sense; Unbreakable; Signs; The Happening. So the question is this, which category does Split fall into?

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Split is a psychological horror-fest that was written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan about a man with 23 different personalities. The film stars James McAvoy, Anya Taylor-Joy, Betty Buckley, Haley Lu Richardson, and Jessica Sula.

The girls are at a party, and right away we pick up that Casey (Anya Taylor-Joy) is an outsider. Casey is only there because the other two girls have taken her under their wings. When her ride home from the party is a no-show, Claire (Haley Lu Richardson) gets her dad to give Casey a ride home. While Claire and Marcia (Jessica Sula) are chatting teenage girl stuff, Casey sits quietly in the front seat. The father is putting the party gifts in the trunk when danger approaches.

Kevin

The attack is quick, silent and freaking frightening because carjacking happens so many times in real life. This is why I’m like a Ninja warrior when walking to my car and placing items in my trunk. I’m always looking over my shoulder for someone like Kevin, who is played by James McAvoy. As soon as Kevin enters the car, he sprays something into the faces of the two teens in the backseat. They are quickly incapacitated and unconscious. Casey remains perfectly still, like a doe caught in the headlights, and at first is spared the gas. When she does attempt to escape, she meets the same fate as her friends. The girls awake to find themselves in a room.

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Casey, who we learn through flashbacks, has had to survive her own nightmarish childhood, is the first to realize that there is something very unusual about their captor…or should I say captors. Kevin is one of 23 known personalities of Keven Wendell Crumb. The girls are introduced over their captivity to several of the personalities.

Each personality is distinct in the way they speak, dress, and interact with the girls. Keven is seeing a psychologist, Dr. Karen Fletcher (Betty Buckley), who has genuine concern for her patient. Keven is part of a study that Dr. Fletcher is doing on him and other patients suffering from Dissociative Identity Disorder.

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There is a loving and respectful relationship between Keven and his doctor, but the doctor is very concerned that one of Keven’s more dangerous personalities may have taken over. When Dennis tells Dr. Fletcher that there is a 24th personality called “The Beast” she decides to pay a visit to his job.

Casey

One of the more likeable personalities the girls are introduced to is nine-year-old Hedwig. He takes a liking to Casey and tells her that Dennis and Patricia have taken over Kevin and are planning to release “The Beast.” Casey, out of the three captives, is the one that keeps her head on straight. She is always looking for a way out, but unlike her companions, does so without upsetting Dennis or Patricia.

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How did Casey get to be so wise for her age? We know from conversations that she’s always in trouble at school. She tells Hedwig that she purposely gets sent to the Principal’s office to get away from everyone. It is through flashbacks that we learn just how horrible Casey’s life has been. She has been molested by her father’s brother ever since she was five years old. These flashbacks are more upsetting to me than Kevin and his wacky personalities.

After the Beast is finally freed from Kevin’s mind, Dr. Fletcher and the girls are in mortal danger.

Conclusion

I have a family member who suffers from multiple personalities. This young adult was a most beautiful butterfly while growing up and showed no signs of what was to come. Most multiple personality disorders are brought on because of severe abuse. It’s the brain’s way of protecting the Id. This family member was loved and doted on. But, due to a very bad infection, this beautiful butterfly now has this disorder. I think it has to do with Epigenome and bacteria turning on a gene that not supposed to be turned on. Although I love her, I’m not that crazy about the other personalities. But, they are her or parts of who she once was…so I have to accept the whole package, which I do.

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James McAvoy does one of the best portrayals of a person suffering from multiple personalities that I have ever seen. It takes a very talented actor to have the audience feel that each personality is a separate entity. The only other actor that I’ve seen capable of doing this unique and seemingly impossible magic act is Tatiana Maslany on Orphan Black where she plays multiple clones.

The entire film revolves around James McAvoy’s characters and Casey. This film is a ballroom dance of the intellect with true cat and mouse tension to keep you on the edge of your seat, and yet, you find yourself caring for Kevin as much as you do for Casey.

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I saved the biggest surprise for last. One of my favorite of Shyamalan’s films was Unbreakable. I’ve always wondered why Shyamalan didn’t do a sequel. David Dunn (Bruce Willis) might have to face this Beast and I can’t wait to see this happen. If you can get the film on Demand, please watch it. You won’t be disappointed.

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5 Responses to “Gilbert Speaks on M. Night Shyamalan’s Film, Split”

  1. Saundra Goodson June 3, 2017 at 1:17 am #

    Marie, I love this review and am going to see if I can get it on demand right now!

  2. lcbennettstern June 20, 2017 at 12:00 am #

    “This film is a ballroom dance of the intellect…” Love that line, Marie! Now I want to see this movie!

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