I recently went to see the highly anticipated film Split, staring the always gorgeous James McAvoy, so here are my thoughts!
I will aim to keep the spoilers out of my thoughts! Anywhere I feel there might be a spoiler, I will warn you beforehand!
Casting: James McAvoy never does anything wrong in my eyes… what a beautiful man, even when dressed like a woman… but that aside, he was a great choice for the role. He was excellent at taking on all the different sides of his character without making them unbelievable, embarrassing or too comedic. His whole performance was definitely not the best he’s ever done but it was good and I think he holds the movie all together.
Anya Taylor-Joy was very well cast to play the odd and introverted Casey. Her young face and huge eyes played really well into the innocence of her role.
Izzie Coffey was a great choice for playing Casey’s flashback. Not only was she a great little actress, her resemblance to Taylor-Joy was magnificent!
Characters: I really liked the characters created in this movie. Kevin was unique for a film character. There aren’t a lot of movies out there that portray the very real mental illness of Multiple Personality / Dissociative Identity Disorder so he was an interesting character to get to know.
Dr. Karen Fletcher was a refreshing character to be faced with. A head strong psychologist who fought for and believed in making Dissociative Identity Disorder a known and believed form of mental illness. Her role to the plot was crucial and made for some very interesting and exciting scenes between her and Kevin.
Plot: While I have some negatives on the plot, I do also have some positives! The motive for Kevin’s actions was different to the kinds of things that we’re normally presented with in both movies and books alike so it was nice to get this reasonably fresh idea. And again, a film revolving around Dissociative Identity Disorder was intriguing and fun to have.
Filming: There were some really excellent shots in this movie! I liked the was a lot of things were done half on screen, or even off screen!
Plot: While I liked some of the plot, I also felt that the story fell short of being really great. Kevin’s 24th personality felt a little bit odd. While it made sense later on, why he turned the way he did, it just made the plot feel fake and over the top which ruined the creepiness of the whole thing.
Casey’s story was a big part of the plot, shown in several flashbacks throughout the movie. I was interested in this side story, which, in the end, became a vital sub-plot, but it felt that we were left hanging with her story. It grew and grew and then it just went and never gave us answers or explanations. It was a clever idea but in the end it was executed poorly.
The ending: There was a weird Bruce Willis cameo at the end that hinted at another of Shyamalan’s films, but for someone like me, who has avoided Shyamalan’s messes for a long time, I totally didn’t get it! My mum ended up working it all out and explaining it to me but even she wasn’t sure why it was put in there. It was a weird extra that didn’t do anything for the story.
A lot of people are saying this movie is bad rep for people with mental illness and I just have a few things to say about it. I’ve dealt with mental illness in myself & close family members (schizophrenia, bipolar & depression to name a few) so I really hope I don’t come off as indifferent and rude as I’m completely aware of the struggles those with mental illness face.
The complaint is that this film is portraying the mentally ill as violent, and yes, some of them are, but most of them are placid and just like you & me. But I don’t think this movie was trying to show people with mental illness, or Personality Disorders, especially, as evil and violent people. The whole point of this film was to be a thriller movie… you can’t exactly have a villain as placid and gentle… so it made sense that Kevin, who had a mental illness, was evil and violent. I don’t at all think they lumped a whole community of people together and pointed a finger saying “watch out, these people will kidnap you and kill you because they are mentally ill / have more than one personality”.
Have you seen the movie and think I’m wrong about this? I’d love to hear your thoughts as it may be that I’m missing a bigger point here!
I was really pumped to see this when the trailers started appearing at the end of last year, so I’m a little disappointed by it… It looked like it was going to be freaky and unique, and while it was on some levels, it wasn’t on others.
I haven’t seen many new films or TV shows recently, so it may be a long time until I do another post like this, but who knows!