Sentiment on individual actors/characters mentioned in the movie review of Split:
|M. Night Shyamalan
|Haley Lu Richardson
|Note: Sentiment analysis performed by Google Natural Language Processing.
Summary:Though Kevin (James McAvoy) has evidenced 23 personalities to his trusted psychiatrist, Dr. Fletcher (Betty Buckley), there remains one still submerged who is set to materialize and dominate all of the others. Compelled to abduct three teenage girls led by the willful, observant Casey, Kevin reaches a war for survival among all of those contained within him — as well as everyone around him — as the walls between his compartments shatter. Source: IMDB
Full text transcript of the movie review of Split:
Split is directed by M. Night Shyamalan, and this was one of the films I got to see it, AFI Fest, it was a ton of fun. He came out, introduced the film with a very heartfelt speech. There was also a director and cast and crew conversation afterwards. And I want to reassure anyone watching right now, this is going to be 100 percent spoiler free. I’m not even going to hint at anything. No playful nudging. I hate when critics do that. We’re not dumb. You’re safe with me. This is going to be the type of review that I would want to see if I wanted to know about this movie, because I hate any and all spoilers. You’re safe here. Let’s talk about split. And I just want to give a special thank you to the viewer who sent me this notebook and this awesome pen, as well as some other things. I took all my notes for this review on this. Thank you very much. You are the best. So after a moderate success with the visit, Shyamalan has returned to his more traditional filmmaking roots to make a psychological thriller starring James McAvoy as a man caught in the middle of dissociative identity disorder. He has 23 different personalities living inside his head, and one of them has kidnapped three girls. He’s holding them captive somewhere for an undisclosed reason. And the film cuts back and forth between these girls trying to figure out how to get out. And James McAvoy visiting Betty Buckley, who plays his psychologist. If you guys have been following my channel for a long time, you know that Shyamalan films have had a major impact on me.
If I hadn’t have seen some of his earlier films, I wouldn’t be talking to you guys right now. That being said, I’ve been a supporter of him for quite some time and save for the visit, which, as I said, was a moderate success. Ever since the village, I’ve been pretty let down. I got to say, having seen split, it is a very good time to be a fan of M. Night Shyamalan. He is most certainly back. This is his best film since signs. It is a very, very good psychological thriller. Let’s talk about what worked about split the three main performances in this movie, James McAvoy and Taylor Joy, who you may recognize from The Witch and Morgan and Betty Buckley. I’ll talk more about McAvoy in a bit. Let’s talk about Betty Buckley first. As this psychologist. She plays a woman who’s desperately trying to communicate with James McEvoy’s character and all the various personalities that reside in his head. She’s trying to figure out how he works. She’s trying to dissect the brain of someone who’s dealing with this to figure out how to cure him and how to help him. And I loved her character in this film. During the cast and crew discussion with her, she referred to herself as the crazy old lady from the happening. So I’m not calling her that. She called herself that. And you might remember her from that. But she really shines in this movie and brings a lot to the film. And you, Taylor Joy, once again, is very good in this film. This is another very good turn from her. Even though Morgan wasn’t a great film, she was definitely one of the best parts of it and she was fantastic in the witch.
And here in split, she shows herself once again to be one of the most exciting talents of her generation. My favorite part of her character is that there was a lot to discover. There’s a lot of layers to peel back, which we’ll talk more about later. James McAvoy, I feel, is one of the most underrated actors working today. I’ve liked him in everything I’ve seen him in. I think he’s excellent as Professor X, but he’s great in smaller films like Phil McAvoy is insanely courageous in this movie. He gives himself 100 percent to this performance. He is fully committed in this role and it pays off. I think this is the best performance I’ve ever seen from him. Each personality is very distinguishable from the rest, just from his vocal patterns and his facial mannerisms. He’s brilliant in this film. I think it’s his best performance. If this came out this year in 2016 and not next year in twenty seventeen, I’d be saying nominate this guy right now. I’m serious. He’s that good in this movie. One of the things that Shyamalan brought up in the director’s discussion after the film that really stuck with me is the difference between portraying a character that’s fictional and portraying a character from nonfiction like a biopic, because you can look at someone who’s existed in real life and then recreate their extreme, more over-the-top nature. And it’s sort of safe with a fictional character like this. You just have to be out there. You have to fully give yourself over to the director in the script.
And McAvoy did that and he really, really went for it. Trust me, what you’ve seen in the trailer, that’s nothing.
He is so good in this film. When Shyamalan introduced the film, he mentioned that after he saw the movie it follows, he immediately tried to hire the director of photography of that film for a split. And he got him. And it shows this is one of Milan’s best looking movies. The camerawork is brilliantly contained and claustrophobic. The lighting is superb. This is a great looking movie. Unlike Shaam, Allen’s previous movies Save for the Visit, which featured no score at all. This film is not composed by James Newton Howard. It’s composed by West Dillon Thordarson. Husham Allen mentioned that he hired after seeing the TV show The Jinx because he thought the music was so effective. And what I loved about the score for this movie is that it’s very subtle, refreshingly so. In fact, sometimes you won’t even notice it creeping into a scene. Slowly building an intense aura of dread, and it really worked, and ever since, Signe’s Shyamalan has tried to incorporate humor along with the thrills in his films. Sometimes it really works and sometimes it really doesn’t. In this film, there’s a great balance of it. He wisely pokes fun at some of the more absurd elements of McEvoy’s various personalities and gets us to laugh when we should laugh. There’s no uncomfortable sequence where we feel like, should we be laughing right now or should we not laugh? The film knows when to make, say, Hedwig, the nine year old boy personality in MacAvoy, considerably funny.
And it knows also when to make that personality frightening, because just when you think you’re laughing at how cute the nine year old boy version of James McAvoy is, all of a sudden you feel terrified by that version of him. There’s also a scene in this film which I will simply refer to as a scene that involves a CD player. One of my favorite scenes in the movie, it’s incredible, and if you watch very closely, there’s actually a mini story being told that unfolds throughout this sequence that Shyamalan brought up in the director’s conversation. And I can’t wait to talk about that in a future spoiler video easily. My favorite aspect of this movie is that Shyamalan is putting a vast amount of trust in the audience. He sets up a lot of story elements here and there. They will not be fully understood until we’ve seen the entire film. We learn things about characters. We learn things about back story. And the big picture becomes so much more impactful after we’ve seen the movie. And it makes you want to watch it again through a different eye. And that’s what some of his best films were like, films that showed characters as a fact. This is the character. This is how they are. As the film progresses, you learn why they’re that way.
And it makes it so much more impactful as we as audience members begin to discover the story on our own without just being told everything. We get to peel back the various layers of these characters and learn why they feel the way they do. He’s strongly respecting the audience here and assuming that we’re going to be on this ride with him. He is asking us to be patient. And I think this is a film that is going to weed out viewers who have trouble with being patient in movies, because it’s the type of film that requires you to take various leaps of faith with Shyamalan. And if you take those leaps, you’re going to be rewarded. I do have some flaws with splits. One of them in particular being the two other girls who are also in captivity with Onya Taylor Joy, particularly Haley Lou Richardson, who I thought was very good in Edger 17. Here, though, she’s very forced and sometimes over the top she seems to be on another level from Onya Taylor Joy’s character. And it doesn’t always work. Sometimes that’s because the film is focusing on our lead girl and sometimes Haley Lou Richardson’s character gets drained into the background. But sometimes these other two girls would just say things that came off very out of character and extremely wooden in the opening scenes.
The opening few scenes are a little bit clunky and sometimes the dialogue doesn’t really work. There’s also an extensive exposition scene where Betty Buckley’s character is scraping into a press conference where she’s discussing identity disorder and how people can learn from it and the things that certain people can do. And this entire sequence, I felt, could either be significantly cut or removed entirely. And who knows? I mean, maybe by the time it’s officially released, it will be I don’t know. But I felt that sequence really did not need to be in this movie. That was one of the few sequences that I felt was not trusting the audience. It was more of a hey, here’s a whole bunch of info. Think about this for a while. Also, as stated, the film requires you to take some major leaps of faith. And as you’re watching certain things, you might be thinking, I don’t know about this, but if you just go with it, you’re going to be rewarded, trust me, because it was so well made that I was like, all right, let’s see where this goes. And I was pleased. Now, I won’t be discussing the way the film concludes because, as I said, 100 percent, no spoilers. What I will say is that it’s in my top two favorite endings to any Shyamalan film. It’s right up there with The Sixth Sense.
That’s good, yes.
For me, the first act of split was the weakest, but each succeeding act afterwards got better and better and a built to a very intense finale that had me holding my breath. Split is M. Night Shyamalan best film since signs. I am very happy to say that and I’m going to give it an A minus. One thing I do really want to say is that I was actually blown away by Sean Malone’s opening speech to this movie. It was so humble because I listen to a lot of directors introduce their films during AFI, and this was the first speech in which a director genuinely thanked the audience for even being there.
He just seemed so grateful and happy that he was able to share his film with people.
He obviously is loving what he’s doing. And I think the past few years have really had an impact on him because that was one of the best opening speeches. In fact, it was the best opening speech at all of AFI. So, guys, when this film does come out this January, a couple days after that, I am going to release a spoiler review and I’ll be able to discuss more things in detail. Then up until then, my lips are sealed. Go see this movie for sure. It is worth your time. It’s definitely one of the better January movies ever, that’s for sure. And if you’re curious on my thoughts of every M. Night Shyamalan film, ever since The Sixth Sense, I have reviewed all of them. And you’re going to get a link to a playlist in just a second. And you can hear my opinions on every single M. Night Shyamalan film ever since The Sixth Sense came out. You guys are the best. Thank you so much, as always, for watching. And if you like this, you can click right here and get stuck Marni’s.
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