Wednesday, April 25th, 2018

Rocker and Halls Review: Split

Posted on February 03, 2017 in Arts & Culture
By USM Free Press

By: John Rocker and Aaron Halls, Free Press staff

Plot:

After attending a party, Casey (Anya Taylor-Joy) and her two classmates Claire (Haley Lu Richardson) and Marcia (Jessica Sula) are captured by a mysterious man named Kevin (James McAvoy), who has dissociative identity disorder, which gives him 23 different personalities. Trapped in an undisclosed location, Casey, Claire and Marcia must figure out how to escape from their abductor and his various personalities.

What Did We Like?

A: The key elements that made this film  work for me were the performances and direction. James McAvoy gives an incredible performance as Kevin and his multiple personalities. Using specific facial expressions, body language and speaking patterns, McAvoy brings to life his character’s various personalities, making them all seem unique, whether it be one that’s more innocent or one that is intimidating. Also fantastic is Anya Taylor-Joy as Casey. Here she shines, conveying her character’s intelligence and resourcefulness, but also showing vulnerable aspects of her character, such as fear due the situation she and the other girls find themselves in. Betty Buckley is another stand-out as Dr. Karen Fletcher, who is Kevin’s psychologist. Her  character is a nice presence in the film as a woman who is passionate about  her choice of work and genuine about  wanting to help Kevin navigate his various personalities. M. Night Shyamalan, through his direction, gives the film a lot of tension, which had me on the edge of my seat.

J: Aaron covered a lot of what I liked about the film, but there are many other things to like about this film. One thing I found interesting was the way it was shot. A majority of the shots of people had them centered in the frame, and this is something that’s not common in most shot compositions. These shots were  close to each character, allowing me to understand the emotion that each one was   feeling. I also liked how things were revealed. If a character acts a certain way and you’re wondering why they’re like that, the film will answer it. It just requires patience.

What Did We Dislike?

A: There are one or two scenes that I think might have went on just a bit too long, but I don’t think it ruined the overall quality of the film.

J: The only thing I dislike about the film actually has nothing to do with what happens in the film, but the marketing that surrounds it. Normally, I’m not looking for every new trailer that comes out, but the marketing was so aggressive for this film that they showed off a lot of clips for it. I found myself knowing where the story was going because I’d already seen it. There was only one thing that genuinely surprised me, and that’s because it hadn’t been shown in commercials or trailers.

Who Do We Think This Is For?

A: If you are a fan of psychological thrillers, fascinating performances or maybe a fan of M. Night Shyamalan (but have counted him out due to his recent filmography), I think you’ll get a lot of enjoyment from Split. A note I’ll add is that this movie relies on audience members not knowing what’s coming next in the plot, so if you can try to avoid seeing trailers, to echosimilar to John’s point, I think it will enhance your overall experience.

J: If you’re looking for an entertaining thriller, you’ll find it with this film.

Rating:

A & J: A Must See

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