Greetings and salutations! Today we are delving into the mind of the prolific-yet-classically underrated director, M. Night Shyamalan. In this episode, we’re discussing his most impressive work-to-date, Split.
M. Night gets a lot of grief for his “twist ending” trope, with most of the complaints saying that his movies rely heavily on that twist without providing much other substance. The prime example of this is 2008’s comically confusing The Happening, which lacks both in story structure and depth (and, well, the performances by its lead actors are just weird). Couple that with outright dismissal of Shyamalan’s work by critics and fans who think they know better than the rest of us (“he’s a one-trick pony!”), and the man ends up with a reputation that precedes him. But the reception of Split has been warm, with Mashable saying critics’ praise of the film is “the most shocking M. Night Shyamalan twist in 18 years.”
Aside from the intrigue surrounding the phenomenon of multiple personalities (the disorder is something that most of us – including some psychologists – actually don’t know too much about, and therefore the idea of it can be romanticized in a way), the success of this film is in large part due to Shyamalan’s examination of the human condition. He explores things that are hard for us to look at and talk about, and poses questions about those things that are worth asking. Does human suffering lead to a more enriched life? What does it really mean to be pure? Shyamalan believes strongly in non-conformity, which is something that Split addresses as well. He told Den of Geek, “cultivating a specific, honest, new point of view is [important]. If you’re walking, talking and acting like everybody else, and you have a general point of view, you have no value to the world.” Now, how about that?
Please join us as we discuss this interesting film. But, beware – this episode is spoiler-heavy. As always, thanks for listening! If you would like to support us, please take a quick moment to like us on our social media sites (Facebook, Twitter), and remember to rate and review us on iTunes. You can also become a patreon patron here, or buy some cool merch designed by our very own Andrew Gimetzco at places like these: RedBubble, Society 6, Tee Public, Threadless.