Movie Review: A victim’s revenge
February 9, 2017
Filed under Opinion
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Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and a history of childhood abuse shape a man, Kevin Wendell Crumb (James McAvoy), who suffers from twenty-three ‘split’ personalities in M.Night Shyamalan’s latest film by the same title. In Kevin’s dark, secluded living space, he lives with the effects of multiple personality disorder in mysterious ways. Although an entertaining plot, this disorder is wildly misrepresented in the film’s depiction.
A control freak, a nine-year-old, and a fashion designer are just a few of the personalities director Shyamalan (“Sixth Sense,” “The Village”) uses to capture the dark fantasies society has of multiple personality disorders. This intriguing disorder has a fascinating pseudo-scientific history where it is believed that various personalities will manifest in a person with different physical attributes and characteristics.
The movie begins with the three victims: Casey Cooke (Anya Taylor-Joy), Claire Benoit (Haley Lu Richardson), and Marcia (Jessica Sula) walking to their car with Claire’s father (Neal Huff) to take them home. To capture the girls, Kevin Wendell Crumb drugs Claire’s father leaving him in the parking lot, and drugs the three girls to drive them to his run-down, secluded living space. Once the girls wake up, the room is organized, clean, and tidy. While Casey, Claire, and Marcia are locked in this room, they must decide the best way for their escape. Casey, a quiet and reserved character, uses her history of abuse to guide the girls through how to handle their kidnapper. Both Claire and Marcia decide to use their own means of escape which results in the girls’ being separated in different rooms where they must fend for themselves.
For many years, Kevin has been meeting with his trusted psychiatrist, Dr. Karen Fletcher (Betty Buckley). Throughout the movie Kevin sends multiple emails saying he immediately needs to meet with Dr. Fletcher. During Kevin’s sessions with her, it becomes evident Kevin is worried that there is another personality that has yet to reveal itself that will take over all the other personalities. This personality is introduced as ‘The Beast.’
James McAvoy does an outstanding job at bringing the twenty-three personalities to life. There could not have been a more talented actor to portray all of these characters. From portraying a young boy who loves to gossip, to an intense church lady who believes in proper etiquette, McAvoy expresses the intensity of these personalities with skilled acting.
While the entertaining plot catches the attention of many viewers, multiple personality disorder is madly altered throughout McAvoy’s and Shyamalan’s portrayal. This thriller is rated PG-13 for violence and mature content.