James McAvoy as Kevin Wendell (Dennis) Preparing To Strike in M. Night Shyamalan’s ‘Split’ – Courtesy of Universal Pictures
With scripting by mastermind M. Night Shyamalan, Split is one of the most profound experiences in the history of storytelling. With its genre-bending approach, M. Night Shyamalan has created his The Thing. It’s his Inception. It’s his Psycho. Split redefines how powerful an artist like M. Night Shyamalan is and will define his talent long after we’re gone from this raging rock.
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Perfectly Intertwining attack-point narrative, exposition, and thematically focused beautify, Split’s script is magical. Imploring it’s ideas of damaged personas, both blissfully coming from antagonist and protagonist alike, with its intriguingly insistence in the survivalist animalistic nature in us all, Split’s not just a story — it’s an examination human nature.
In fact, I believe much of Split’s profoundness is going unnoticed by many in the film critic community. I’ve heard complaints that the film focuses too much on Kevin, thus robbing Casey of having much emotional power. Sure, Split focuses on its antagonist, but Shyamalan does this in service of his themes without hurting the narrative.
Ultimately, Shyamalan touches on powerful ideas but doesn’t strays too far from his “escape from harm” plotting. Brilliantly so, the film’s never split but stunningly unifies it’s concepts and story mechanisms to perfection. (A+)
Using his camera like Pablo Picasso with a paint brush, filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan directs Split with artistic brilliance.
From the moment Casey, and her two unlucky classmates, meet Kevin, Shyamalan displays his flair for film. Crafting composition to perfection throughout Split’s two-hour running time, the Philly filmmaker knows when to pullback and when to get close. While keeping his story moving like a marching band, Shyamalan uses the camera to tell his story, not be his story.
Moreover, Shyamalan is deep in his element behind Split’s camera. The once-mocked director intelligently let’s his camera allow the script to breath. The director continuously keeps composition crisp while mostly containing camera-movement to the film’s third act. Sans the effective panning when the girls are initially taken, the filmmaking saves itself for the script’s most boiling moments. Shyamalan writes Split amazingly to climax and uses the truer elements of filmmaking to make it magnificently memorable. (A)
M. Night Shyamalan’s Split is a refreshing mind-bending thriller. With its superbly suspenseful script, a career defining performance by James McAvoy, and disciplined direction, Split is the rare film that comes out of nowhere to redefine the possibilities of visual storytelling. The more I think about the masterpiece’s many intricacies, the more clearly I see its genius — and I’ll never stop looking.
THE GRADE: A+
Seeing ‘Split’ this weekend? Hoping for a comeback from the once great filmmaker? Let the Shyamalan Squad know what you think of the film in the comment section below.