Many films have a theme about multiple personalities. In the last decade or so, perhaps the most memorable for me is the movie Fight Club, played by Edward Norton and Brad Pitt, which tells the story of an insomniac who eventually has a condition where his personality is split into two. But it is only a case where a person has two personalities, then what if one body has many personalities, even up to more than twenty personalities? That’s what’s in the latest film by M Night Shyamalan entitled ‘Split.’
The film opens with the grabbing of three adolescent young ladies by an unidentified man. The three teenagers are locked up in the basement, but what confuses the man who kidnapped them is often changing into strange clothes. Every time he changed clothes, his behavior changed, as if he was not the same person.
It seems that this man is indeed suffering from a mental disorder, which forces him to change because in him there are 23 different personalities. Whether this man is good or not, and what is his motivation to kidnap teenage girls, are the questions that are presented in the film Split. This man had already confessed to the psychiatrist that he had 23 personalities, but there was another truly savage personality. Do all of these personalities exist or are they just a fiction of the man?
James McAvoy is getting here and seems to have honed his role skills. His acting is now not just a cool male actor as featured in the X-Men film franchise or Wanted, some of the films he has played lately look even more challenging. Like the thriller genre film Trance in 2013, or when he became a crazy scientist in the film Victor Frankenstein in 2015. McAvoy has turned into a character actor to be reckoned with. And his role in the film Split this time is very riveting.
Although not the 23 personalities of Kevin that he plays clearly, at least 4 characters stand out the most that he plays and reach totality. The role of Dennis with obsessive-compulsive disorder, Patricia is a woman with a cold gaze, Hedwig a 9-year-old child, to Barry, who is a little seductive and likes fashion design, played very well by McAvoy. Even so, he played each character, the audience could feel that each of these personality characters was different from one another. Especially the character for Hedwig is a 9-year-old boy who is a bit nosy and tall but has a high curiosity.
Opposite to play McAvoy here is a young teenage actress, Anya Taylor-Joy who plays Casey. Casey has an anti-social character with a dark past but is clever and clever in using circumstances to save himself.
The location settings revolve mostly around the basement, reminiscent of the film 10 Cloverfield. But at least occasionally there is a scene outside the room, where Kevin visits his psychiatric consultant, Dr. Fletcher (Betty Buckley). Or when Casey flashes back to her childhood when she hunted deer with her father. This is not bad enough for the audience to be embarrassed, especially for viewers who have a phobia of narrow and dark spaces.
What is unique in this film is of course because the story’s point of view is not only taken from the protagonist, who incidentally here is Casey. Because the story development prioritizes the Antagonist, namely Kevin. What causes Kevin to become a psychopath with various personalities, and what is his motivation to kidnap Casey and his colleagues, makes the audience curious as well as feel horror throughout the film.
Overall, this film is really tense and intriguing. Not only that, the acting of the actors and actresses also managed to bring the audience to feel quite thrilling tension. And this also becomes a bit of a hallmark of M Night Shyamalan, which includes a stronger ‘fictional’ element at the end, an ‘absurd’ scene that either makes the film more interesting or vice versa, it depends on the judgment of the audience. Whether the audience prefers a more realistic or a little hyperbolic. What is clear is that until the end of the film, the story that is presented remains unpredictable and quite unexpected.
Lack of fun, thriller dominance, and additional drama are the attractive packages offered in the Split film. The thriller that was presented was not just a psychological thriller, but a suspense thriller with a chasing scene that was enough to stimulate the adrenaline of the audience. Overall, this film drains the audience psychologically and will certainly leave a satisfactory impression after returning from the cinema.
But, another thing that might be a consideration, is the film’s ending which is a bit ‘hanging’. Although there is also a little mix at the end with characters in other Shyamalan films, due to the appearance of Mr. Glass and David Dunn from the Unbreakable film. The Split film itself seems to have been deliberately worked on as a spin-off from the Unbreakable film, which seems to be working on a sequel that brings together Kevin and Mr. Glass and David Dunn.
Split: A Film About Young Men with Multiple Personality
Split, a film about a man with Dissociative Identity Disorder or having multiple personalities can now be seen on the streaming services Prime Video, iTunes, YouTube, Google Play, Vudu, and Fandango Now. The synopsis of this film tells the story of a man named Kevin Wendell Crumb (James McAvoy) with 23 personalities. All 23 personalities rule Kevin’s body. So, at any time he can change from one personality to another. Suddenly, he turns into a childish nature, then from a mother who is bitchy, a rude young man, to a man who cares about tidiness and so on. These various characters can come out using an assistive device called “Light” or light in Kevin’s body. One day, Kevin, who was then controlled by the character Denis, kidnapped three young girls. Two of them are quite famous in school, namely Claire (Jessica Sula) and Marcia (Haley Lu Richardson). While the other is an introvert named Cassie (Anya Taylor-Joy). The women were locked up in a basement location that is not clear. As time went on, the three women found out that Kevin had many personalities. Based on the information from one of the characters in Kevin’s body, they will be added to the 24th character named The Beast. The character of The Beast is on their way to meet them.
Split is a film by director and screenwriter M. Night Shyamalan. The 116-minute film was first released in theaters on January 20, 2017. Split is under the auspices of the Universal Pictures studio. The Rotten Tomatoes website gave a score of 77 percent, while viewers gave it a score of 79 percent. IMDb gave it a score of 7.3 out of 10. During its cinema screenings, Box Office Mojo noted that Split grossed over $ 278 million, of which 140 million was revenue internationally. Split is a continuation of Unbreakable (2000) and has a follow-up series entitled Glass (2019).
In addition to the three films above, M. Night Shyamalan is the director of several films such as Wide Awake (1998), The Sixth Sense (1999), Signs (2002), The Village (2004), Lady in the Water (2006), The Happening ( 2008), After Earth (2013), and The Visit (2015).