Split Review | The Hollywood Redux Podcast | Episode 403
The HR Podcast hosts continue their exploration of the 2017 cinema-scape with enticing new M. Night Shyamalan thriller, Split. It’s a different vehicle for the director, whose body of work runs the gauntlet from soaring fan faves like The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable to less successful fare such as The Happening.
This latest film stars James McAvoy as a man with 23 different personalities who kidnaps three girls (including the compelling Anya Taylor-Joy) and features former Grizzabella, Betty Buckley as therapist to McAvoy’s deeply disturbed, Kevin. And no spoilers, but Shyamalan has said it’s not only a thematic sequel to his superhero story, Unbreakable, but that a third may be in the offing.
Split is a next level movie for Shyamalan, reminiscent of Gordian knot stories like Signs, where there are no dangling threads or wasted plot details. Shyamalan explores questions of progress through Kevin’s journey to transformation – how we as people can go forward after trauma. We can work through the pain via understanding in order to heal and move forward, or, live inside the pain so fully that it supplants our actual self, so much so that we fracture ourselves into disparate parts. Dismember the soul and use the parts to make a new creature, more powerful but definitely less human. In this way, Kevin’s evolution is actually a step backward: all the way back to the animal kingdom. It’s no coincidence that Casey is held captive under the zoo – she’s witnessing a human eschew his humanity in favor of savagery. Pain can make us strong enough to endure anything, like Casey, who manages to survive this experience, or it can be an excuse for savagery. Pretty cool for Mr. Shyamalan.
Check out the full review below:
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