I’ve decided to do a spoiler-free quick update of my Split movie experience. So here goes!
The movie starts off with a man kidnapping three teenage girls from a parking lot and keeping them all captive in a shady room. Two of them are seemingly “regular” teenagers (played by Haley Lu Richardson and Jessica Sula) who are just popular kids at the school. They have not faced any real threat and have never been in such helpless situations. They are scared and angry and keep scheming plans to escape. Which gets them in even more trouble. But the third girl held hostage is Casey (played by Anya Taylor-Joy). She is unpopular, quiet and isolates herself from everyone. She knows they wont stand a chance against their kidnapper. She doesn’t underestimate him and she knows what trouble is – unlike the other two. This, they show by flashbacks from her past when she was abused as a child by her uncle. This has made her get into this shell and things have not gotten better as her uncle has become her guardian now after her father’s death.
So why they were kidnapped and what is the intent of the kidnapper remains unclear to the girls as well as the audience. That’s when we learn from a scene at a therapist’s session (Dr. Karen Fletcher played by Betty Buckley) that the kidnapper is Kevin (played by James McAvoy the kidnapper) with 24 distinct personalities residing within him and each persona comes to light at different situations. All the persona’s are aware of each other and talk among themselves and think they are protecting Kevin. It is mind-bending and brilliantly portrayed. The array of personas range from nine-year old Hedwig to the Beast who can display immense strength and speed – practically behave like a predator.
Why they are kidnapped, what he intends to do with them and if they will ever get-out of this captivity alive is handled efficiently by Shyamalan. Camera works by Mike Gioulakis of It Follows fame that brings in the thriller-essence in the second part of the movie and also in the Beast scenes.
I personally enjoyed the movie although it was not much of a thriller, but there was one major let-down. When you say it’s a movie about a person with 24 split-personality, show us all 24. We just saw a handful of the characters and I wish they did something more on that front. But otherwise, do give it a watch 😉