Rating : 3 / 5 stars
What’s it about?
Split is the latest film by M Night Shyamalan starring James McAvoy and Anya Taylor Joy in leading roles.
While returning from a birthday party, Joy and two other teenage girls are kidnapped by James McAvoy and kept prisoners in a windowless room for unknown reasons. As they beg him to let them go, they realize that he has multiple personality disorder and one of the personalities has something sinister planned for them. How they try to deal with this situation and try to escape is what the rest of the film is about.
This film puts the viewer right in the middle of the action from the get go and maintains the tension for most of the film. The distinctive personalities of McAvoy’s character genuinely brings a sense of creepiness to the proceedings.
The film is shot mostly indoors and Shyamalan frames his scenes in an ominous way that evokes a sense of claustrophobia and dread. The thriller element of the film is well done and keeps the viewer glued to the proceedings.
The much published Shyamalan “twist” is a bit of a downer. It does not add anything to the film in any way whatsoever. For the viewer to understand the twist one has to be familiar with a specific Shyamalan film from the early 2000s. Otherwise the twist does not have any meaning to it.
Also, there are certain passages of the film where there is too much talking and this makes the viewer a little restless.
This film is a one man show. James McAvoy is the soul of this film. He gets to play multiple characters and does a great job at it. He gives each character a unique body language and personality and as a viewer one can feel that you are watching different characters onscreen. Anya Taylor Joy is also good as the socially awkward girl who must rely on her wit and past experiences to get through the ordeal she is in. The other actors do a good job in their respective roles.
A definite return to form for My Night Shyamalan, this thriller is a good one time watch.