M. Night Shyamalan is back and has used his ‘comeback‘ film to deep dive into the life and lives of a man living with DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder), played with superb chill by the chameleon that is James McAvoy.
Is Split for you?
Three girls are kidnapped and held against their will by a man (James McAvoy) diagnosed with 23 distinct personalities or DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder). The three girls (Anya Taylor-Joy, Haley Lu Richardson and Jessica Sula), with the unseen aid of the man’s therapist (Betty Buckley); must try to escape before the apparent emergence of a frightful new 24th personality comes about.
So, what’s on the Special Features though?
Asides to the special features themselves, the beautiful menu image and icons add to the mystery of the movie itself, as you explore these goodies:
Alternate Ending: play it with or without introduction from M. Night Shyamalan.
Although this alternate ending comes in at less than a minute, not including M. Night Shyamalan’s explanation for why it’s not used in the film; it is fun to see more of McAvoy portraying the Horde, but ultimately, I’m glad that the ending that’s seen in the cinematic cut, is the one that’s used.
These also come with or without the option to play an introduction/explanation from M. Night Shyamalan before them; and I definitely chose the play all with introductions option as it was great insight, especially into the screenplay writing and refining process to hear exactly why M. Night Shyamalan created the scenes that he did and why they were not included in the final cut. For the most part they’re just additional value to the characters of Casey (Anya Taylor Joy), Hedwig (James McAvoy) or Patricia (James McAvoy). Generally with deleted scenes extras I end up feeling like ‘oh, ok, totally get why you didn’t put this in there’, but for this selection of scenes; there’s actually a whole character who was cut from the final film called Professor Shaw (played by Sterling K. Brown), who would have been cool to have kept in. Shaw interacts a great deal with Dr. Karen Fletcher (Betty Buckley) and shows their friendship and very slight attraction (albeit it one-sided) to give even further depth to Dr. Fletcher; as a strong, positive vision of a modern, middle aged woman.
The Making of Split
An actually really interesting 9 ½ minute making of featurette that chats with M. Night Shyamalan to get inside his head and his decisions to ‘return’ to this story-world he’s created in a previous film (I won’t tell you which one cause it’s a bit spoilery…), but discussion from M. Night Shyamalan on the choices of Director of Photography Mike Gioulakis (It Follows), who M. Night specifically went and sought out, along with Mara LePere-Schloop (True Detective) to create the unique set feel he was after too. There are also excellent chats with the principle actors too: Anya Taylor-Joy, Betty Buckley, Haley Lu Richardson, Jessica Sula and James McAvoy; the last one in particular who discusses the refreshing perspective for him to be outnumbered by women in this cast and indeed, in this narrative.
The Many Faces of James McAvoy
A cool 5 ½ minute featurette looking specifically into the nature of DID patients and the way M. Night Shyamalan has taken empirical scientific research and melded it into one of his trademark ‘what if’ type of narratives; using the brilliant acting talents of James McAvoy to bring these ideas into the realm of the possible and more importantly, cinematically believable.
The Filmmaker’s Eye: M. Night Shyamalan
A quick 3 ½ minute look into the way that M. Night Shyamalan structures his films with commentary and perspective sound bites from all the aforementioned cast and crew, with one thing coming through as being in common from their testimonials: M. Night Shyamalan has the vision for his film completely mapped out in his head and knows when he’s hit his mark, moment to moment during production.
Bonus trailer for: The Mummy (starring Tom Cruise in NZ Cinemas on June 8th)
Split is available on DVD and Blu Ray now.
Are you keen to see M. Night Shyamalan‘s return with Split? Hit up the comments and tell me, which is your favourite M. Night Shyamalan movie?
Feature image via screenrant.com