As 2017 starts moving up into higher gears, it starts bringing out it’s more serious cinematic guns. The latest instalment of M. Night Shyamalan’s mind bending and original films, Split is going to be a film that despite coming out so early in the year, will certainly be one we will remember by the end, and for the right reasons.
With the familiar opening of some teenage girls going home after a party, they are abducted by one of James McAvoy’s characters and the film gets quick into action. Anyone familiar with this films advertising campaign will know that a large amount of the movies premise is based around McAvoy’s one character having many personalities. As you find out in the film, His character is more dynamic than that. Each of his personalities is bought to life with a vast array of mannerisms, imperfections, and even some well-developed story-arcs. The level of detail given to all the characters McAvoy brings to life wouldn’t be possible if not for his own incredible skills as a character actor. I am a fan of McAvoy and I’ve never seen him work to such detail on such a huge range. He really brings the story to life, and adds a genius level of dark comedy to an already creepy film that works eerily well with the films psychological themes.
Fans of Shyamalan will not be disappointed either. The film manages to be complex enough to be constantly engaging and while unfolding and never getting too complicated or too ridiculous with its story. The level of detail in everything from props in the set design to flinches in the acting is solid. At no point in the film will you feel distracted or have the tension broken. The story and the characters are fully immersive and neither the writing nor directing ever fall lazy. I had a cold when I watched the film (to the dismay of all the people sat around me who had to listen to me coughing) but despite this, I was constantly stuck to what was happening on the screen and didn’t want to miss a second of it.
As a villain, McAvoy is something you won’t want to miss. It’s nothing like anything you will have seen before and will certainly stick in your memory as something to fear. Or at least… a part of him will…
By Simon Keene