So I just finished watching M Night Shyamalan’s Split…
Split tells the story of a man who suffers from Dissociative Identity Disorder, and has 23 separate personalities. One of these personalities kidnaps 3 young girls, and it is eventually revealed that there is a monstrous 24th, known only as The Beast, waiting in the wings to cause havoc.
Wow. Good job M Night. You made a good one. I’m proud of you.
Decent script, good characters and performances (James McAvoy was sensational as the tormented Kevin), good cinematography and editing, decent score, good make up and special effects (McAvoy was looking yoked and scary as The Beast), etc.
I haven’t seen any of M Night’s movies in a long time, so this was a bit of a refresher on his style, and he has a distinctive one, that’s for sure. His interesting shot composition and camera movements were unique and the editing helped really accentuate that. However, I think his strengths lie as a technical film maker and an “ideas” guy, and not as a writer.
Firstly, the script, while in the overall fine, had some really blunt and odd dialogue. It lacked a certain natural, human feel to it, and this is not a compliment (This isn’t Yorgos we’re talking about, so this isn’t a good thing)
Second, the character arc of the main girl felt like there was no proper resolution. Yeah, she was diddled and abused as a kid, and that’s why The Beast let her go, but at no point did we see the main character conquer the demon of her uncle. Sure, the end might have vaguely implied it, but not enough to provide any sort of satisfying closure.
Overall though, this is M Night in top form, and that hasn’t been seen in awhile. Far from a perfect movie, but a decent movie filled with interesting ideas and a very surprising post credits scene. Check it out if you want your faith restored in this director.
7 out of 10 (6.5 seemed too harsh for this)