Movie Review: Split

By Lisette Yanez

The movie Split, directed by M. Night Shyamalan, is a cool story created based on the disease DID, or dissociative identity disorder.

In the movie, DID isn’t accepted by the majority of the world, many believe the disease is something the patients make up because they’re either crazy or want attention, including many scientists. This makes life extremely difficult for the traumatized victims who develop the illness. One psychologist in particular, Dr. Fletcher, believes, fights, and cares for all that come to her with DID, including Kevin Wendell Crumb.

When people suffer severe trauma, certain people’s brains learn to develop multiple personalities within the mind to aid in dealing with whatever may be happening in their. Some alters may be strong to protect against a type of abuse, or have an incredibly high IQ to get out of a time of strategic struggle.

Dr. Fletcher mentions how there can be as much variety and difference between the alters as there are between people from different parts of the world. These differences include having different languages, vision, genders, strengths, IQs, allergies, and many more.

One man in particular, played by James McAvoy, has developed 23 completely different alters, or personalities, inside his mind as a response to the severe trauma he experienced as a child. The original personality is named Kevin Wendell Crumb, but the personality that had the light, or was most awake/conscious of the 23, is named Barry, a sassy fashion designer, and he truly has all 23 alter’s best interests at heart.

Of course, there has to be an antagonist of the story, or in this case three. Two alters that were banned from the light/consciousness, due to their radical and frightening beliefs, are Dennis and Patricia.

Dennis, the personality with OCD that was developed as a protector from the abuse of Kevin’s mother, believes in a 24th alter. This alleged 24th alter is called the Beast, and is described by Dennis and Patricia to be supernaturally stronger than any man known to Earth. But, most importantly, it’s capable of finally showing the world that they are the superior minds and that they do exist and aren’t to be looked down upon as lesser beings.

Since the Barry decides who gets the light, and he banned them, the two sought after the alter named Hedwig, a nine-year-old boy who has the unique ability to take and give the light to whoever he chooses. This child alter has suffered ridicule and so he is easily swayed and manipulated by the two and agrees to give them the light whenever they want in exchange for the assurance that he would never get made fun of again.

Anya Taylor-Joy played the protagonist, the character Casey Cook, a teenage social outcast that got mixed into Dennis and Patricia’s plot to kidnap two teenage girls to serve as a sacrifice to the Beast. Casey happened to be in the company of these two girls at the time of the kidnapping and, consequently, was also taken.

The girls were chosen because, according to our antagonists, they have lived their lives ‘asleep’, ‘impure’, and ‘enemies’. What they mean by this is that they’ve gone through life without having suffered anything of any kind whereas they have been ridiculed throughout their existence. Little do they know, that Cook has suffered more than her fare share of abuse, by her own uncle, since she was a little girl.

So, in a sense, you could say they feel self-righteous, that they have the right to pass judgement because through their pain and suffering, they became worthy of looking down on the happy and unaware in the world.

The director did a great job of incorporating the right amount of suspense, thrill, and a touch of twisted humor brought to us by the one and only; Hedwig.

All in all, I’d say this is a good movie with a great plot and cliffhanger that, in the end, leaves you asking yourself, who is Mr. Glass?


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