Manoj Night Shyamalan is back to doing what he does best in Split.He gave us a glimpse of the Shyamalan of yore in The Visit and here he assures us that he has got his groove back.Made on a budget of 9 million USD,Split has already raked in ten times that figure.The Visit was noticed for the fact that it cost 5 million and earned almost a 100 million at the box office.Has to be the Indian in him,i‘m tempted to say, considering the fact that his country of origin recently managed to launch a space probe successfully,to orbit the Mars on a budget lesser than what Hollywood spent on a movie set in space.
Its also a fact that the writer-director faltered more than once when he worked on bigger budgets.
The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable and Signs had established Shyamalan as a thinking man’s filmmaker but the mediocre stuff that he churned out for almost a decade and half since those films gave us an impression that the critics who were only too eager to write him off had a point indeed.Shylamalan finally has let his craft do the talking, proving his detractors wrong ,with Split.While this film may not entirely win over his critics, it will definitely wake them up to the fact that the man hasn’t lost his touch entirely.
James McAvoy owns the screen in this film about a man with 23 personalities and the only two other actors who gets to share screen space with him ,almost make up the entire cast of the film.Betty Buckley and Anya Taylor-Joy, who it seems is turning into permanent fixture in anything horror deliver gripping performances too.The tension and suspense that Shyamalan builds in a simple therapy session scene is worthy of Hitchcock,i would say and Shyamalan does indulge in his fascination with the supernatural , to a limited extent,here too.At a time when every other movie is about a Marvel or DC superhero and their “Universe”, Shyamalan hints at building his own universe in Split.Before Sam Raimi and Nolan kicked off the superhero origin story trend,it was indeed Shyamalan who gave us the thinking man’s superhero with Unbreakable,i think.And its anyones guess why Bruce Willis is a frequent collaborator,Shyamalan was 18 when Die Hard was released.
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