HollywoodChicago.com RSS   Facebook   HollywoodChicago.com on Twitter   Free Giveaway E-mail   

Film Review: M. Night Shyamalan Returns, Full of Personality in ‘Split’

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly versionE-mail page to friendE-mail page to friendPDF versionPDF version
Average: 5 (3 votes)

CHICAGO – M. Night Shyamalan is a complicated filmmaker whose work seems to reflect a variety of different sides to the artist. “The Visit” marked a return to a new, yet familiar side of Shyamalan that most of us thought blew away with “The Last Airbender.” it seems “Split” marks the return/re-emergence of the too-long departed Shyamalan that we thought was buried in the past.

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.0/5.0
Rating: 4.0/5.0

Perhaps I am giving him too much credit, but I believe all Shyamalan films have a quirky charm that either the audience doesn’t appreciate or that Shyamalan can’t refine. We know that Shyamalan can be as mirthfully goofy as he can atmospherically cerebral, but sometimes both elements clash more often than they blend. The humor can overpower the story, creating weird fluctuations in the tone and undermining any attempt at emotional climaxes. Other times the high-concept ideas or themes never feel fully-developed enough to garner our appreciate. If anything, they tend to feel like we’re missing big parts of the story that somehow got trapped in Shyamalan’s and we never fully realized. Fortunately, “Split” shows us every part of its mind and the film is all the better for it.

“Split” explores a severe case of dissociative identity disorder, but in true Shyamalan style, it is explored with a twist. Shyamalan introduces a fringe science element, which is completely in his wheelhouse, to a potentially hackneyed premise that has been done to death. This change in story throws the film into a mysterious metamorphosis that leaves the audience in suspense as to what will emerge at the very end. Shyamalan has finally found a great balance between his tone, pacing, and story. He has never had a problem building suspense in his thrillers but has often led his films to a conclusion that doesn’t come close to rewarding our patience or attention.

“Split” opened everywhere on January 20th. Featuring James McAvoy, Anya Taylor-Joy, Betty Buckley, Haley Lu Richardson, M. Night Shyamalan. Screenplay by M. Night Shyamalan. Directed by M. Night Shyamalan. Rated “PG-13”

StarContinue reading for Jon Espino’s full review of “Split”

split1
James McAvoy and Anya Taylor-Joy have one of many eerily awkward encounters in ‘Split’
Photo credit: Universal Pictures

StarContinue reading for Jon Espino’s full review of “Split”

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent spam submissions.
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.

Hot stories on the Web

User Login

Free Giveaway Mailing

TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Kid Thing, The

    CHICAGO – Like the awesome Engine Who Could, the mighty Nothing Without a Company stage crafters have constructed another triumph at their new home in Berger Mansion on Chicago’s north side. “The Kid Thing” – written by Sarah Gubbins – is a terse, convincing and emotional play about fear, identity and breeding, and it is performed by its cast of five with utter authenticity. The show has a Thursday-Sunday run at the Berger North Mansion through April 15th, 2017. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

  • Wiz, The

    CHICAGO – When stage theater can cause outbreaks of elation, celebration and joy, then it must be due to Kokandy Productions’ revival of “The Wiz.” The urban reinterpretation of “The Wizard of Oz” story – told through tuneful euphoria and jubilant dance – is ecstatically produced, in every morsel of its stagecraft.

Advertisement



HollywoodChicago.com on Twitter

archive

HollywoodChicago.com Top Ten Discussions
tracker