The much anticipated movie of 2017, Split, staring James McAvoy, Anya Taylor-Joy and Betty Buckley is a movie (Directed by the talented M. Night Shyamalan) about a man named Kevin (James McAvoy) who has 23 different personalities. He has a psychiatrist named Dr. Fletcher (Betty Buckley), whom he entrusted with the knowledge that there is still one dangerous submerged personality that lives inside him who at any moment will take over and dominate all of the others. If that alone caught your attention, like it did mine, read on and see just how fantastic this movie truly is…
Kevin developed his first personality when he was just a small boy who was abused by his mother. His mom, who had OCD, would abuse him in ways that a young Kevin couldn’t handle and through that torment and abuse, Dennis was born. Dennis, being his first developed personality, was always tidy and clean and made sure everything was in tip top shape, and ultimately protected Kevin from all the horrible things his mom did to him. And through Dennis the other 22 personalities were born. Each of the personalities represent something or someone that was missing or needed in Kevin’s life.
The movie starts with the abduction of 3 teenage girls who throughout the movie Dennis calls “un-pure”. It is later revealed that this meant that they haven’t been through any life shattering trauma, like Kevin did, and they were the best fit for the person who was to consume them, who is referred to as “The Beast” (Kevin’s 24th personality). About 20 minutes into the movie we are introduced to three more personalities named Patricia, Barry, and Hedwig. Patricia was created as a mother figure that took care and loved Kevin. Barry was the responsible one and was the primary personality who granted access or “gave light” to the other 22 personalities. Hedwig is a 9 year old boy who represented innocence that was taken from Kevin at a young age and who in the movie was easily influenced.
It may seem confusing and hard to keep up with, but once you start to understand what the movie is about and dive deep into the mind of a person with a mental illness, you actually start to have a lot of empathy for them. Each of Kevin’s personalities was different in every way. They were all made as a coping mechanism because of all the things that Kevin had to face in his life. While one was tidy and strong, the next was messy and weak. One of his personalities was diabetic and needed to take insulin, while the other ate sugary drinks and snacks. In the movie they referred to this disorder NOT as Multiple Personality disorder but as DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder) which allows the person who has stepped into the “light” be able to drastically change his/her body and personality, even tone of voice and grammar because in this persons head they truly believe that they are a completely different individual.
I don’t want to give too much away but this is definitely a movie that has thriller and horror, but is also funny at times. It dives deep into a world that not a lot of people have knowledge about. In today’s world a lot of things that have to do with our mental stability isn’t often talked about, so being able to watch a movie that explores mental illness is something that is both interesting and informational. Also, being able to understand that these issues aren’t just something that happens, but has a lot to do with how past trauma can cause a big effect on a persons life, also makes for a great movie. But I will say that if you haven’t watched the movie Unbreakable that is also directed by M. Night Shyamalan the ending will be very confusing so I recommend that you watch that as well. So enjoy this movie, its defiantly one for the books!