Movie Review: Split Personalities in M. Night Shyamalan’s Split


I’m not someone who enjoys going to the movies because of high prices for tickets and snacks that I could make in the comfort of my home. However, when I saw the previews for Split, I had to break open my piggy bank and splurge.

Wednesday night I went with friends to Regal at the Walden Galleria mall, bought a small popcorn (with butter of course), a blue Icee (my favorite flavor), and curled in a fancy lounge seat. I was expecting the movie to be good, but “good” doesn’t begin to describe how intense and interesting the movie was from start to finish.

Split, directed by M. Night Shyamalan, (director of Sixth Sense) is about a man named Kevin Crumb, played by actor James McAvoy, who struggles living with Dissociative Identity Disorder, also known as Multiple Personality Disorder. Kevin Crumb battles twenty-three identities overpowering his mind and body on a daily basis, and a twenty-fourth personality emerges throughout story. Crumb’s personality disorder compels him abducts three teenage girls, and the story unfolds from there.

Five minutes into the film, I was on the edge of my theater lounge chair and couldn’t take my eyes away from the screen. The story line was a thriller with a fair amount of scare, in addition to humorous interactions between Crumb and one of the abducted girls.

The film started as a giant puzzle of questions, but as conversations and actions of Crumb’s personalities came forth, the pieces began to fit into a wild rollercoaster of thrills and terror. I enjoyed how the director had the story of Kevin Crumb and his disorder unfold as the days of abduction progressed, rather than provide a full background from the start because it continued to keep me hooked to the story line and want to know more.

It was astonishing how perfectly James McAvoy was able to play a total of twenty-four personalities, as well as flawlessly convert from personality to personality throughout the film. Each personality had a different voice, posture, eyesight, habit and mindset and McAvoy acted each role so convincingly that it could be believed that he was a victim of the disorder.

Just when I thought I knew how the movie would end, I was fooled and left with my jaw dropped and mind blown. I couldn’t believe how well the film was executed, or that I wished I could rewind the movie and watch it all over again.

If you have the time (and the money) in these next few weeks and want to do something fun, check out Split! Grab some friends, break open your piggy bank, and be prepared for the unexpected from start to finish.

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