Friday, 20 January 2017

Split (Review)

'Split' is a psychological horror/thriller film which is directed by M. Night Shyamalan and stars James McAvoy, Anya Taylor Joy and Betty Buckley.

Since the release of 2015's 'The Visit' director M. Night Shyamalan has been experiencing a renaissance of critical approval which was lost during his previous works. I myself enjoyed 'The Visit' and I was looking forward to seeing what his follow up would be.

One of the best decisions Shyamalan has made with this film was hiring James McAvoy, an actor who's versatility shines with this role, you can clearly see McAvoy having a lot of fun with his role as Kevin, a man who suffers with multiple personality disorder and has 23 different personalities controlling his mind. James McAvoy provides an amusing and entertaining performance which advances the film to a higher level. Anya Taylor Joy gives a good performance as the heroine of the story. M. Night Shyamalan makes the most of the films claustrophobic setting and atmosphere with the camera work from eerie controlled tracking shots to tense, chaotic point of view shots. Unfortunately that is all the positives I have to say about 'Split' as the film was a big disappointment for me.

I am not usually concerned by plot holes in movies, but the ones in split are just too big to ignore and make the film a frustrating experience to watch. The largest problems are in the third act which seems to lose all of the suspense that was built up to that point, instead the film just gets really silly at the climax, which leads to a dissatisfying ending. The film asks you to suspend your disbelief, which I don't mind, but the film poorly constructs any evidence for the climax to make any sense within the narrative. The film might have worked, if the film had focused on the visual storytelling rather than the dialog, so it's themes would be more cohesive. The film feels unfocused and the character development seems rushed, almost as if it was an afterthought, the film tries to create character development for one of it's characters by using flashbacks, but they don't pay off for much dramatic purpose.

I am going to give 'Split' a ...

4/10

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