Split (2016) {spoiler alert}

An extremely creepy and horrible take on Dissociative Identity Disorder  (the good old Multiple Personality Disorder) – horrible as in shocking and evoking horror.

I have the most unreliable memory of watching The Sixth Sense, so this is my first M Night Shyamalan movie for all purposes. 

I had an idea of what to expect because it is the movie that was advertised as the one where James McAvoy plays twenty odd different identities. As it turns out, James essentially portrays about ten different identities – chiefly four – (and one identity who is pretending to be another identity: talk about identity-ception). Even so, it is a lot. And first commendation to James McAvoy for such a fantastic job portraying all of the identities. Even a single twitch in his face easily reflected who he was at a certain time. He was very convincing as the protagonist and it was a right treat watching him.

So, since this was a movie where I went in with some expectations because of the trailers and discussions, I have to say that it was different from what I wad expecting. Then again, almost all movies that are so talked about turn out to be something different.

I was not expecting the child abuse or the 2 seconds of gore. It wasn’t scarring, but since I wasn’t expecting that, it was certainly horrible and made me wish I hadn’t been watching the movie after midnight.

Anna Taylor-Joy and child Casey, Izzie Coffey, both drew me into Casey very wonderfully. In the end, I was left cold far more at the prospect of Casey having to return to her abusive uncle. The terrible irony of Casey surviving “The Beast” who lets her live but only to return to her abusive uncle. It was far more painful and unsettling than the murders. That was what disgusted and troubled me more than anything else in the movie.

Yes, it is all about DID but Casey’s story is as distressing as Kevin’s.

Since M Night Shyamalan has also written the movie, I am a little disconcerted by a message in the movie – the tortured are more powerful because of their suffering? That mindless, horrible afflictions are necessary to “evolve”? While I have observed that it is actually true in life, it is still very upsetting to see it happen this way. But that is just foolishness on my part. 


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