Split (2017) Movie Review: Back to Basics!

For a man who was termed the next Spielberg, things sure did not go anywhere as expected. Manoj Night Shyamalan was regarded as one of the most promising of talents a decade ago and that was before the string of absolute misfires. As the years went by, the movies just kept crashing bigger and harder.

But since the movie Split released wide last month, all you hear are claims of how director Shyamalan is back.  So it is indeed a curiosity factor at play here as folks walk in to check if the man  did get the groove back after duds like  The Last Airbender  and After Earth.

Thankfully, fans can let out a sigh of relief as we see Shyamalan, not exactly bang on the buck, at least making an effort to get back on the right path.  With a limited budget, the man has been forced  to get back to the basics with a more indie style of approach and that seem to be working wonders. For, Split is a pretty neat B-grade thriller that thankfully has the services of a remarkable performance to fall back on in keeping the viewers engaged.

Armed with a straighforward plot line but revolving around complex and complicated characters, Shyamalan digs deep into the roots. And once again, it is back to the popular setting for every other low budget horror attempts out there – the ‘escape room’ drama.  This time, three young girls are kidnapped by a strange man and taken down to some secret bunker like location.

We soon learn that the abductor Barry (James McAvoy) is suffering from a personality disorder as he takes on different personalities right before them.  In fact all of twenty three different personalities is supposed to be ‘existing ‘ within this man, or so we hear because we rarely get to see them all. This is because the unstable negative forces have taken over Barry’s body, which is specifically that of Dennis (the pervert with OCD) and Patricia (a strict authoritative lady) using the assistance of yet another personality named Hedwig ( that of a nine year old).

With the introduction of Barry’s psychiatrist into the narration, we get to learn more about Barry and his dissociative identity disorder (DID) , including the capabilities and symptoms.

Meanwhile the girls have to try to find a way about because their abductor is getting weirder by the minute and it does sound anything but reassuring when he tells them that the girls are going to be the sacred food for the twenty fourth persona referred to as ‘THE BEAST’.

Are there twenty three personalities to begin with?  OR is  Barry pulling a fast one? Does this ‘Beast’ that they claim to serve, even exists?  Will the girls survive to tell the tale?

The film works largely due to the extra ordinary performance from lead man James McAvoy who deserves to be showcased in much better roles than just being strapped to a wheelchair for every other Xmen adventure. And Spit gives us multiple reasons. He is a treat to watch especially in sequences when the personalities switches and McAvoy handles it smoothly with no jitters.

And even though it is mainly a one man show, the other performers too shine. Anya Taylor-Joy  (the Witch) manages to impress in her role as Casey , the introvert outcast girl, who has to dig deep into her troubled past to battle the enemy and get out this horror situation. And of course Betty Buckley as Dr.Flethcher, because this is the assuring one who helps us viewers to make any sense of this man and his condition.

And on the strength of this strong performance from lead man, director Shyamalan gets to experiment and get his hits and misses to come up with an effective if not glorious thriller that keep you guessing.

The film does explore the subject of  child abuse and survivors of the same giving the film more depth than the average  flick of this genre. It interestingly tries to bring our attention to how each will form their own mechanisms to cope with the problem and battle it out with the ‘beasts’ in their own personal manner. But the demands of the genre does not let the filmmaker deeply explore these territories.

And if you are expecting for some elaborate twist, do not go in expecting that. And yet be assured Shyamalan has a final trick up his sleeve for his fans that will leave you forced to look at the movie from another angle than the one you were subjected to. I surely do not want to be the one to spoil it for you, but it does warrant another discussion board in itself.

In conclusion, SPLIT is a movie that a  Shyamalan fan must surely check out because the confident strokes of a skilled craftsman is still pretty evident. And he promises more for the ones who are watching closely. But for the new generation who may not have been wowed by a Sixth Sense or an Unbreakable may just be left scratching the head wondering what all the fuss is about.  So expect opinions to be ‘split’ on this one. Just depends on which personality you are asking!


Cast:  James McAvoy, Anya Taylor-Joy, Betty Buckley

directed by Manoj Night Shyamalan


5 reasons why SPLIT deserves to be on your Must-Watch list, this year

5 reasons why SPLIT should be on your Must-Watch list, this year!


1.       SPLIT is about a man with 23 distinct split personalities with 24th and the deadliest one about to be unleashed. Nine of these 23 personalities have been showcased in the film, played by James McAvoy. You will get to see him play personalities as woman as well as a nine year old boy

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2.       SPLIT was made with a budget of just $9 million and has shattered the box office with a gross collection on $169 million worldwide. It took over Rings and became the scariest film in 2017 so far.

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3.       The twisted ending of SPLIT will leave you in splits. Don’t blink or you’ll miss something important.

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4.       Film critics and fanatics have hailed SPLIT as M. Night Shyamalan’s best film since Sixth Sense.

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5.        M. Night Shyamalan has announced a sequel to the film SPLIT and it is already making people very excited!

Split releases in India this Friday, 24th February.

Manoj N.Shyamalan’s “Split” to release in India on 24th February

M. Night Shyamalan’s film, SPLIT which has been receiving a great response in the U.S is now all set to release in India on 24th Feb.
Actor James McAvoy plays the lead character of Kevin, a man with 23 distinct split personalities who kidnaps three girls. The 24th personality and the deadliest one is about to be unleashed.

Continue reading “Manoj N.Shyamalan’s “Split” to release in India on 24th February”

M.Night Shyamalan’s “Split”: Trailer

Split PosterSplit is an upcoming American psychological horror thriller film directed and written by M. Night Shyamalan. The film stars James McAvoy, Anya Taylor-Joy, Jessica Sula, Haley Lu Richardson, and Betty Buckley. Principal photography began on November 11, 2015 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The film will be released on January 20, 2017 by Universal Pictures.Continue reading “M.Night Shyamalan’s “Split”: Trailer”

Trailer of Manoj Night Shyamalan's After Earth

M.Night Shyamalan has been having a bad run of late with his recent films like Lady in the Water, The Happening and The Last Airbender not doing well and also being trashed by critics. But all that seems to be a thing of the past now if we are to go by the trailer of his forthcoming film- After Earth. Starring Will Smith and his son Jaden Smith in the lead, After Earth is a futuristic science fiction thriller.Continue reading “Trailer of Manoj Night Shyamalan's After Earth”