Synopsis: The movie ‘Split’ is a thriller that tells the story about Kevin(James McAvoy), who is a man with a diagnosed 23 distinct personalities. Throughout the movie, three girls are kidnapped by Kevin and they must try to escape before the emergence of the new 24th.
Review: M. Night Shyamalan has been bringing out ‘Unbreakable’(2000) and ‘Signs’(2002), but constantly received reviews that he clings on reversal too much. However, he clearly excluded twist in this movie, although he used to seek for it in his past movies. The movie ‘Split’ captivates an audience only by the power of development and direction.
Split is a psychological thriller, which is the output of the director’s interest towards Dissociative identity disorder. The movieis based on the life of Billy Milligan, who was imprisoned for rape and kidnapping but also was the first person ever to be acquitted by a court of law owing to Dissociative identity disorder. M. Night Shyamalan has been paying close attention to Dissociative identity disorder after attending a lecture while he went to the New York University and the movie is result of his interest.
In this movie, James McAvoy takes a role of Kevin, who has 23 different identities. He clearly acts out different characters distinctively. His acting skill triggers the audience to repeatedly let out exclamations throughout the running time. James McAvoy portrays different identities by considering even tiny facial expressions, movements of fingertips, the tone of voice, and costumes he changes. For example, when he performs a nine-year-old boy Hedwig, he uses lisp to describe the age. On the other hand, he shows accurate pronunciation and low voice tone to describe Dennis, who does not have much emotional ups and downs and has severe obsessive-compulsive neurosis. However, we see just a handful of personalities during most of the film, although ‘Kevin’ is said to exhibit 23 personalities. In addition, the performance of Anya Taylor-Joy, who acts as Casey in the movie, is also very impressive. It is interesting to watch protagonist Casey's (Anya Taylor-Joy) proactive deconstruct of the good and evil personalities that reside in Kevin that the three girls’ escape depends on. Through revelatory flashbacks of her childhood, we learn that it is not the first time that Casey confronts a monster.
I believe this movie can be easily divided into likes and dislikes, since it does not have excessive reversal that people tend to anticipate. However, I would still recommend it to the people who wants to watch a movie with tension and horror.