I’m already betting Split will be one of my top films of 2017


A man with 23 distinct personalities kidnaps three girls in the hope that they will enable him to unlock his true potential and access an altogether more powerful 24th identity.For her birthday, Claire Benoit (Haley Lu Richardson) has a party that she invites all of her classmates to. This group includes class outsider Casey Cooke (Anya Taylor-Joy), who ends up needing a ride home with Claire and her friend, Marcia (Jessica Sula). The three girls encounter trouble before they’ve even left the car park – a strange man (James McAvoy) climbs in their car and the next thing they know is they are waking up in a basement somewhere unknown to them. It later becomes clear that this man has a number of different personalities, and all the ones that they are exposed to hint that there is some sort of agenda that they are needed for. The girls frantically try to figure a way out of the situation they have found themselves in, but get separated when they offend their host(s). Before long, it is up to Casey to try to get all three girls out alive as she is the only one who can seem to get through to the man through one of his alter egos. Meanwhile, the man makes frequent visits to his psychiatrist, Dr. Fletcher (Betty Buckley) as Barry, another, more level-headed personality than those seen by the girls. She knows something is up, but by the time she learns enough about the 24th personality known as The Beast, it is too little too late. 

Ah, where to begin? Split. The return of M. Night Shyamalan. It’s all such a blur to me after seeing the film a couple of hours ago. I had been so excited for this one. My friend sent me a link to the teaser trailer months ago, and we decided there and then that we would make it our first mission in 2017 to see this film. Well… now the mission is complete, and I am lost for words – a slight problem considering I now have to review the film. I guess you could say I was absolutely blown away by it. I had had high expectations going into the film, and was seriously worried that it could be one of the biggest flops of the year. As it turns out, it topped my expectations quite magnificently – I am so glad it didn’t turn out to be a waste of time!

You know the drill by now, I always start with performances, so let’s talk a little bit about a certain James McAvoy who reached new acting heights here. In the film, we see him as mainly five different characters. You’d think this would become confusing, am I right? Nope. Not in the slightest. The transitions between characters were so clear and so fluid, often taking place on a line by line basis. McAvoy didn’t even have to speak for you to be able to distinguish between any two personalities. He embodied each one completely and was so mesmerising to see in every minute of the film. My favourite of the personalities he portrayed was nine-year-old Hedwig. He was just so funny, and had the ability to flip the tone of the film on it’s head for a minute with some of the things he said. This was something that provided a nice little aside during the course of things, but also emphasised the darkness of the other alter egos that McAvoy showed us.

Newcomer Anya Taylor-Joy was equally as wonderful to watch, even if she didn’t quite take on the same challenging workload that McAvoy might have done. She gave Casey such a great amount of authenticity I thought, plus showed that while a young woman might be scared, not every single one of her brain cells has to completely evaporate. I really liked her character and her performance, and genuinely look forward to seeing more of her in the near future.

I think that’s the easiest part out of the way. Now what? There are so many things about this film that I loved that I don’t think I could cover them all and not have you age a few years before you’ve finished reading. Split is 100% not the film the trailers make it out to be. It is a dark, brooding thriller that builds up to an absolutely stonking finale with a twist that, even with a telescope, I wouldn’t have seen coming. The ending is definitely what elevated the film to greatness for me – I just didn’t see it coming, but fully understood what had happened after it had been and gone. It didn’t feel pretentious at all, and I think that’s what swayed it for me.

So, that should do it I’d say. Split is a film that I would recommend more than most, especially if you are someone who has seen a number of Shyamalan’s films as this will be something that makes this one so great for you. I don’t feel like there’s much more I can say without A) taking up anymore of your time than I already have, or B) ruin the film for you, as it is one of those that I can now safely say the less you know, the better it will be for you.

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filmandtv101

One day, I will be an actress and filmmaker. Until then, I write about films and TV - reviews, trivia, whatever takes my fancy really. I'm also one of the hosts on Talking Stars and am currently attempting to be a vlogger of some sort, although that's a work in progress ;)

9 thoughts on “I’m already betting Split will be one of my top films of 2017”

      1. I saw it tonight. First 1/2 I absolutely loved. Became a Spilt non-believer a little after that but I’ll save it for a potential show! Suffice it to say I lost track of what M. Night was doing.

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      2. Oh really? That’s a shame! It was kind of the other way round for me, the longer it went on, the more it sucked me in, and then it completely finished me with the ending – I still haven’t quite got my head round that, but in a good way 🙂
        I think it could make for a good show though, especially if there is some debating to be had amongst us all. I think I’m going to try and poach us a guest if we do discuss it as I’ve seen a few people were looking forward to seeing it.

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      3. I can see you liked it, no harm no foul. Spoilers .. The mess of the second part really had me lost. The guy was doing supernatural things. That was really outside the clinical tone of the film up to that point. At the end, it was a sell out. Have you seen “Unbreakable?” M. Night simply crowned himself worthy of a superhero franchise. The character in Split is the serial killer alluded to in Unbreakable. To say I felt cheated would be appropriate. Then again, I’m not him. He’s had a long string of flops and he was probably worried and insecure about making a film simply about something real.

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  1. It’d be boring if we all liked the same things, a bit of disagreement here and there makes for some good discussion and some of banter 🙂
    I have to admit that the supernatural thing wouldn’t normally work for me, but I think I was so sold on the film by then I was just up for anything. I have indeed seen Unbreakable, which is why I got (and loved) the twist. Of course, like anything, it wasn’t for everyone, I get that.

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  2. Yes, you are right about different strokes for different folks. I think M. Night really made an error with the superhero element. It negates everything else in the amazing first hour for me. Besides that, are we to tell people with this disorder in their family they are now equated with a sadistic comic villain with the same affliction? Anyway, you get my point. I really wanted to like this. I’m glad I saw it though so I can say with full certainty I don’t recommend it.

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