As you may know, I recently got to see Split. Since I’m currently not doing any movie reviews on the channel, I figured I’d talk about it here.
On to the big question: Does Split suck?
If you want my opinion–no. In fact, I actually really liked it. I’ve never been much of an M. Night fan, but if he keeps in this direction, then I’m excited for what he has in store.
Split is one of those movies that you really have to lose yourself in to enjoy. You can’t sit there nitpicking at every detail–that would just ruin it. The premise is very much rooted in real life, but don’t forget that it is fiction, and can venture off into some weird territory when needed. Split is a subtle, quiet film. You never once actually see any graphic violence, yet somehow the scenes still manage to get under your skin. It sort of felt eerily graceful, in a way.
James McAvoy was absolutely amazing as our antagonist, Kevin–and I’m not just saying that. I mean this guy really outdid himself. I don’t think there are many young actors in Hollywood today who can pull off what he did for that character. Each time a different personality manifested itself, he sold it. I believed in every single one of them, even the child you see in the trailer. If I had to describe his performance, I’d put it as something along the lines of how Heath Ledger handled the Joker. I could watch those two characters on-screen for hours without feeling . I will admit that McAvoy’s performance wasn’t as strong as Ledger’s, but then again, I’m not entirely sure that any others are either.
As you probably know from the trailer, Split follows three teenage girls who were abducted by McAvoy’s character. The other two girls do play their parts in the story, but the main focus is on Casey, played by Anya Taylor-Joy. I had originally seen her as Thomasin from The Witch, so when I saw that she was going to be in Split, my hopes for the movie went way up. This girl has this amazing vulnerability to her, while at the same time being able to portray strength. That’s exactly what the character of Casey in Split needed. I can’t go into any spoilers, but her character is indeed troubled, and carries a ton of baggage. There were little things about Casey I noticed early on, and at first, I figured it was just coincidence because I didn’t think M. Night would be that detail driven. But, I was wrong. These little things Casey did made it clear to me what she had been through. It’s not all pointless back story to help you feel sorry for her either. It all comes together at the end.
And that ending–it had my heart racing. Again, not just saying that. I left the theater smiling. Because I know you’re all wondering, yes, Split does have a twist ending. It definitely worked way better than all of his other post-Sixth Sense twists. I don’t even want to hint at anything at the risk of spoiling it. Just know that the twist isn’t over the top, nor does it ruin the movie, I promise.
At the risk of sounding like a newly converted fan girl–I can’t think of any. There were small things, but nothing that ultimately ruined the experience for me.
I will warn you that Split isn’t for everyone, and is definitely a slow burner. It’s also important to not go in expecting a horror movie. It isn’t one. Just go in and let the movie take you where it wants to. I also want to point out that if you’re able to relate to the characters, then you’ll obviously like this film more. If not, then it may not be as impactful as some are making it out to be. Simple as that. Different movies connect with different audiences. Still, I’m going to highly recommend that you give Split a chance, and make sure to let it speak for itself.
I was going to rant about people who think this movie is offensive, but I won’t. My only request is that you watch the movie before you label it. How can you talk down an art piece you never gave a chance to? Saying something you haven’t seen is offensive proves that you’re talking out of your ass. If you watch it and still think it’s offensive, then I respect your opinion. As you may know from this blog and other things I’ve posted over the years, mental illness is something I’m very close with. I think Split handled it in a way I can almost describe as beautiful, but that part doesn’t come in until the end. I was almost in tears.
Anyway, these are my thoughts on Split. Give it a chance if you’ve got the time. Have a great day.