Split Movie Review
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Split is a psychological thriller directed by M. Night Shyamalan, released in 2016. The movie features James McAvoy as Kevin Wendell Crumb, a man suffering from dissociative identity disorder (DID), who kidnaps three teenage girls.

As the girls attempt to escape, they discover that Kevin has multiple personalities, each with its own unique characteristics and motives. Split has garnered both critical acclaim and controversy for its portrayal of DID.

While some praised the film’s depiction of mental illness and McAvoy’s remarkable performance, others criticized it for perpetuating harmful stereotypes about people with DID. In this article, we will delve into the split movie review to explore these differing perspectives and uncover what makes Split such a compelling and unsettling film.

Plot Summary

Split is a psychological thriller directed by M. Night Shyamalan, known for his signature twists and surprises. The film follows the story of Kevin Wendell Crumb, a man with 23 distinct personalities who kidnaps three teenage girls. One of his personalities, ‘The Beast,’ is rumored to be a supernatural being that feeds on human flesh.

As the girls try to escape, they discover more about Kevin’s fractured mind and his dangerous alter egos. Character analysis plays a significant role in Split’s storytelling. The film delves into Kevin’s psyche, exploring the complexities of dissociative identity disorder and its impact on those around him.

James McAvoy gives an exceptional performance as Kevin, seamlessly transitioning between each personality and showcasing their unique quirks and mannerisms. Thematic elements such as trauma, mental illness, and abuse are woven throughout the film, adding layers of depth to its characters’ motivations and actions.

Overall, Split is a gripping thriller that keeps audiences on edge until its shocking conclusion.

James Mcavoy’s Performance

James McAvoy delivers a tour-de-force performance in Split, portraying the film’s central character Kevin Wendell Crumb, a man with 23 distinct personalities.

McAvoy effortlessly transitions between each personality, offering a unique and nuanced portrayal of each one. Whether he’s embodying the flamboyant fashion designer Barry or the menacing and dangerous Dennis, McAvoy is utterly captivating.

What makes McAvoy’s performance truly exceptional is his ability to convey the psychological complexities of each personality. He seamlessly transitions between emotions, making it clear that each personality has its own unique set of struggles and motivations.

Through his masterful portrayal, audiences are able to see Kevin’s character development unfold and gain a deeper understanding of his psyche.

Three key takeaways from James McAvoy’s performance:

  1. McAvoy’s ability to convincingly portray multiple personalities elevates the film beyond just a simple thriller.
  2. His attention to detail in capturing the nuances of each personality showcases his immense talent as an actor.
  3. By delving into the psychological portrayal of Kevin and his personalities, Split becomes more than just a movie about a kidnapping – it becomes an exploration of mental health and identity.

Depiction Of Dissociative Identity Disorder

The depiction of Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) in Split has been a topic of controversy since its release. While some viewers have praised the film for accurately portraying the disorder, others have raised ethical concerns about how it presents mental illness on screen.

On one hand, the portrayal accuracy of DID in Split is commendable. The film highlights the complexity and challenges faced by individuals with this disorder, from switching between different personalities to navigating their relationships with others. By showing the impact that trauma can have on a person’s mental state, Split offers a nuanced and sensitive portrayal of DID that does not shy away from its complexities.

However, there are also valid ethical concerns about how Split handles mental illness. Some critics argue that the film perpetuates negative stereotypes about those with DID, such as portraying them as violent or unstable. Additionally, there are worries that horror films like Split could stigmatize mental illness further and discourage people from seeking help when they need it. Overall, while Split is a well-made thriller that offers an intriguing look into DID, it also raises important discussions about how we depict mental health issues in media.

Portrayal AccuracyEthical Concerns
Commendable depiction of DID complexitiesPerpetuation of negative stereotypes
Sensitive approach to mental healthStigmatization of mental illness
Nuanced exploration of trauma’s impactDiscouragement of help-seeking behaviors

Critical Reception And Controversies

Despite its controversial portrayal of Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), Split has garnered a lot of attention and discussion in the film industry. However, mixed reactions have been expressed by those who have seen the movie.

Some praise its boldness in addressing mental health issues, while others criticize its misrepresentation of the disorder.

The representation debate surrounding Split revolves around the fact that it perpetuates negative stereotypes about DID. The main character is portrayed as a violent and dangerous individual due to his condition, which only adds to the stigmatization surrounding mental illness.

Additionally, it has been argued that Split does not accurately depict how someone with DID would behave or how their multiple personalities would interact with each other. These concerns have led to criticism from mental health professionals and advocates who believe that movies like this only serve to harm those living with mental illness.

As a film critic, it is important to acknowledge both sides of the representation debate surrounding Split. While some may appreciate its attempt at bringing awareness to mental health issues, it cannot be ignored that many feel it only contributes to harmful stereotypes and misinformation about DID.

It is up to individual viewers to decide whether or not they believe Split’s representation of this disorder is accurate or appropriate for public consumption. However, what cannot be denied is that the conversations sparked by this movie have shed light on an important topic within our society – mental health and how we choose to represent it in media.

Overall Analysis And Recommendation

Overall, Split is a riveting thriller that captivates the audience with its unique storyline and exceptional performances. The film delves into themes of trauma, dissociative identity disorder, and the human psyche, which are explored through the character of Kevin Wendell Crumb.

James McAvoy’s portrayal of Kevin is nothing short of phenomenal as he seamlessly transitions between his various personalities, each with their distinct mannerisms, voices and body language. The film’s exploration of mental illness is handled sensitively yet effectively, making it more than just your typical horror flick.

The cinematography techniques employed in Split are also noteworthy. The use of close-ups and extreme close-ups when depicting the different personalities allows the audience to fully immerse themselves in Kevin’s world. The camera work also creates an atmosphere of tension and claustrophobia at times, making it all the more unsettling.

Additionally, M. Night Shyamalan’s direction keeps you on edge throughout the entire movie as you try to piece together what’s going on. Overall, Split is a must-watch for fans of psychological thrillers and those who appreciate films that delve into deeper themes.


Overall, Split is a thrilling and suspenseful movie that keeps you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end.

James McAvoy’s performance as Kevin, a man with 23 different personalities, is truly mesmerizing. He flawlessly transitions between each personality, showcasing his range as an actor.

However, some may argue that the film’s depiction of Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) is not entirely accurate or ethical. Despite this controversy, Split remains a must-watch for fans of psychological thrillers and those interested in exploring the complexities of the human mind.

In conclusion, Split delivers a captivating and intense viewing experience with an outstanding performance by James McAvoy.

While it may not be without flaws, it’s still a highly recommended film for anyone looking for a thought-provoking and suspenseful ride.

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