Split (2016)

“Kevin has 23 distinct personalities. The 24th is about to be unleashed.”

I confess, I spent the first few minutes wondering if I was in the right movie screen – no James McAvoy, unless one of his distinct personalities really looks like a teenage girl. Serves me right for trying to know as little as possible about the film before going in, as it turns out this is as much a kidnap horror/thriller as it is a psychological drama – or is it a bit of a supernatural something-or-other? Knowing that the director is M. Night Shyamalan (6th Sense, The Village, Unbreakable, etc) might give you a few clues…

Perhaps with better expectations I might have liked this movie more. Certainly, McAvoy gives a strong set of performances, easily distinguishing between his different personalities and oozing menace, when appropriate, or childlike innocence at other times. There’s a lot to find fascinating in exploring disassociative identity disorder – which unfortunately this movie only touches on the edges of.

For me, both the thriller and supernatural elements rather took away from giving any real ‘meat’ to the psychology. Three genres is just too many; none get to really shine, and indeed I felt by the end that they were treading on each other’s toes, so to speak – one providing a lazy get-out for another, etc.

Biggest flaw, though, was the ending – or rather, lack of. As the story started to come to a climax, I had at least three different ‘guesses’ on what we might get thrown at us. I don’t mind that I was wrong – in fact, that’s best! – but I didn’t feel we then had any kind of proper resolution.

Not awful, definitely watchable, but largely disappointing.

Released: 20th January 2017
Viewed: 27th January 2017
Running time: 118 minutes
Rated: 15

My rating: 6/10

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4 thoughts on “Split (2016)

  1. I remember watching its trailer and getting my jaw-dropped :p
    I have not watched it yet neither know when it is going to release in India. I can only say that the trailer got my hopes high but after reading your review (6/10) I am a lil heart broken. Now, am a lil scared to watch it but it is not your fault – truth hurts :p
    Thank you for your honest feedback.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The problem I find with the movie comes both from a personal perspective as well as from the “oh god…are we really using that stereotype… again?” when it comes to the Disassociative Identity Disorder.

    What I can say is that I’m glad they are at least calling this illness by it’s proper name rather than casting it as Schizophrenia which often happens in movies.

    I can say on a personal note that none of me or mine would ever hurt anyone unless severely provoked. Even the angriest of us. For that reason this is not a movie that I will likely watch (at least for a long time) as it hits both too close to home, and so far away from it that it makes me angry to think about it.

    Liked by 1 person

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