‘An individual with multiple personalities can change their body chemistry with their thoughts.’
I have finally seen the anticipated new thriller movie from M. Night Shyamalan, Split. This movie follows a man who suffers incredibly with multiple personality disorder. He has 23 completely different diagnosed personalities including himself and they are battling with each other to stop a highly dangerous 24th appearing.
The film starts with ‘Dennis’ kidnapping 3 girls and taking them to a desolate location where he keeps them hostage in a basement. We soon learn that ‘Dennis’ is just one persona of this man’s brain and a few more emerge throughout the film including Patricia, Hedwig & Barry.
I absolutely loved the concept behind this film and thought it would be quite fascinating and knowledgeable to audience members, like myself, who know nothing or very little about this mental illness people can suffer with. However, towards the end of the film it became apparent that it was turning into a paranormal horror movie rather than a psychological thriller. For me, this ruined it completely.
The idea that his 24th personality was superhuman in ways almost made a mockery of this illness itself. This is a very real thing that people suffer with and I completely understand that the personalities living inside someone’s brain can be so extremely different in the sense of good & evil, but not superhuman, not ‘beast’ like.
Regardless of the storyline, James McAvoy portrayed this character to the best of his ability and I cannot fault his performance. Each personality changed James as an actor and it was very easy viewing to instantly know who had taken over his brain each and every time.
Overall, I was not a huge fan of this film which highly disappointed me as I did really want to love it.