Split (April, 14)

There's a reason why this post is late. I usually try to publsh my comments about a movie in the day after I saw it, no more than that. Sometimes, lazyness or some blue spell prevent me of doing so. This time, was something else though.

I left the theater without knowing what I was feeling towards the last M. Night Shyamalan's flick, Split. First of all, have you see what I've wrote? I left the theater! Yeah, baby!!! I went to the movies, big screen, buttery popcorn, noisy costumers and all. Wonderful. It was more than 2 months far from one of my favorite best places on the world. It was like when we see a beloved friend after some time apart: it seemed like not one day had passed by <3

I was extatic, despite all the trouble I gave my niece and the friend that went with me. It was so good to be in a movie theater again, being so close to the film! Thanks Mari and Dea, for allowing me a great time going back my home in this world!

So, about Split, I was anxious to see it in the theater. So much that I had no doubt about the movie to watch on this day, even if there's many others I'd like to reach on the cinema. I try to follow James McAvoy's career for more than a decade. I'm not sure when he called my attention for the first time, but there are many films out there that I saw because of him. I gave up following him up close a couple of years ago, but he is still an actor that I admire. Playing a character with 23 different identities? I couldn't miss that!

I won't talk about that thing about expectations, that's old news (despite being always true). The bigger problem on this film for me was that it started as a psychological thriller, a good one by the way, and at the last 20 minutes, someone changed his mind and decided it would be a horror story, connected to the universe of one other of Shyamalan's films (to know which,don't get up before the end of the final credits - so Marvel of you, M). It is not just a matter of keeping the suspense up, but a basic lack of definition  of the main plot. There's a hint about what would happen in one  character's speech at certain point, but it is too little to justify such a turn of events. The thing is, the psychological thriller was so well executed, it was a shame loose that. 

Other negative aspect here is the slight (maybe not so discreet actually) erotization of violence against young women. The lack of some clothing here, the way it was pictured,  was unnecessary to the story and characters, I think. The matter is too delicate to be treated like that. And we're talking about me, a person that is unfortunately not always so attentive to such issues (really unfortunate). So, if it called my attention, if it made feel discomfort... well, it is not a small thing (not so slight).

A friend of mine hates Shyamalan because of Signals. I wouldn't say I dislike his films, but I'm starting to change my mind. A director cannot survive only of The Sixth Sense, doesn't matter how amazing it is. 

Split. Directed and written by M.Night Shyamalan. Cast: James McAvoy, Anya
Taylor-Joy, Haley Lu Richardson. USA, 2016, Dolby Digital, Color, 116 min.

PS: The first time I've watched The Sixth Sense, I was spending a couple of months in Vancouver to study English for the first time. I was by myself at the theater, no friends with me, just strangers around. At the end, I wasn't sure if I had got it right, and was very tempted to ask someone about it. Well, I had just to wait ask my friends from school if I had really understood the ending...

1 comment:

  1. Yeah, I definitely see what you mean, and the more I read other people's comments or listen to podcast reviews on this film, the clearer it becomes that the shift in the plot is actually not very satisfactory. I confess as I watched I didn't make such a clear distinction, I remember just feeling confused as to why suddenly the story was turning so harshly towards demons and such. At the end, I enjoyed very much the link to his previous film and thought it was very clever, so I liked it enough to be pleased with this representing a potential positive turn in Shyamalan's career. We all know he started out phenomenally, then from "Lady in the Water" things went south exponentially as he released more movies. He went from really great to really shit in a second. When the trailer for "The Visit" came out, I was excited and rooting for that to be his big return, but it turned out to be another flop for me, I actually quite hated that movie. So, naturally, when I saw the promo stuff for Split I felt excited but also weary and cautious. I knew it had the chance to suck, so I kept my expectations low. But I knew I needed to see it because 1) James McAvoy plays this guy with multiple personalities (or really James McAvoy is in it, period) and 2) Anya Taylor-Joy, the amazing girl from Witch was also in it. So yea, excitement was natural. So, at the end I was happy that this movie didn't suck, in fact I enjoyed it, it had me on edge, the acting was great and the story was good enough, despite some flaws. I do agree with you in regards to it exploiting violence against women in a sexual manner. Unnecessary in this day and age. But at least we can say he's starting to get the hang of it back again. We can hope so.
    And apparently there'll be a third part to this story, considering this was a follow up to the "other movie"'s universe. Let's keep an eye out for it. I just hope it's as good as his really good stuff. I still hold The Village close to heart.

    [ j ]