Split Review 2017

Split Review 2017

Rating:  PG-13

Runtime:  1hr 57mins.

Starring:  James McAvoy, Anya Taylor-Joy, and Haley Lu Richardson

In 1999, I was introduced to whom I thought would be the next great cinematic genius, M. Knight Shyamalan.  His movie, The 6th Sense in August of that year was a cultural phenomenon. Even his name made me intrigued to see his movies.  And just to whisper, “I see dead people” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QUYKSWQmkrg) gave me chills.  But after a small string of onscreen successes such as, Unbreakable, Signs and Lady in the Water, his movies became increasingly more disappointing.  It is like having a relationship with a beautiful girlfriend, I mean absolutely gorgeous, that goes bad over time.  When you first start the relationship, everything is wonderful.  You are holding hands, skipping through pasture fields smelling flowers as the sun rises in the background.  Then as time goes on, she still looks magnificent, but now every date is like dragging her lifeless body around town while she complains about everything and all her answers comprises of only one word.  You break off the relationship and time passes, but then you see her at the 20-year high school reunion and she is stunning.  When she walks into the room, for some reason it is in slow motion, her hair is blowing and there is music playing in the background as she smiles at you.  So once again, you must try, just one more time.   And it is truly wonderful again.  This has been my experience with M. Knight Shyamalan’s movies and Split will rekindle your cinematic relationship and restore the beauty from years past.

Split is about three girls who are kidnapped by a man with over 23 personalities.  They must escape before the emergence of the most frightening personality of them all, The Beast.  James McAvoy gives his best performance to date as Dennis a man suffering from multiple personalities.  He truly is remarkable in this role and makes you believe that he is every one of those personalities who are fighting for dominance.  At times, I forget that I was watching a performance because he draws me in like a hypnotist, making me believe that I was in his constant world of chaos and disorder.

The movie flows at a good pace.  It keeps you very much involved, trying to figure out how all the sub plots are tied together.  Shyamalan’s  intention is to make you second guess yourself, questioning the reality of what you are watching.  Brilliantly, he even pays homage to his past movie or movies that I think his renounce brethren will truly love.

So, does this mean my movie love affair with M. Knight has been restored?  Hmm, the jury is still out.  But it was an enjoyable one night stand.  This is a date movie, where you and your significant other can travel on this thrilling ride together and maybe start or revive a movie love affair with M. Knight Shyamalan.

7 thoughts on “Split Review 2017”

  1. Great review! Thought that the movie was very entertaining as well. Which personality was your favorite? I loved Hedwig! Thought it was hilarious to see a grown man assume the role of a nine-year-old boy, but thought it was also quite sad to see how the other personalities abused him.

  2. When it comes to M. Night Shyamalan, it is easy to jump on the bandwagon of hate. I never chose to do so because when I experienced “Signs” on the big screen back in ’03, I knew he had talent. Since then, I grew up with an admiration for “The Sixth Sense”, “Signs”, “The Village”, and yes, “The Happening” is even a guilty pleasure. A few years back, I finally saw “Unbreakable” and I continue to hail it as one of 2 Shyamalan masterpieces. Sure, “Lady in the Water”, “After Earth” and “Last Airbender” are awful films, but the good outweighed the bad. I knew the man had talent. “The Visit” was a slight return to form and I appreciated the film for what it was. But let’s get to “Split”…oh man! Not only is that his best film since “Signs”, it is a complete return for him in my mind. I can’t wait to see what he does next. The man who popularized the twist ending completely changed the game for what a twist can do to an entire film with “Split”. I already liked “Split” before the ending scenes, but when they happened…my jaw hit the floor. Pure genius!

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