Now, I will be the first one to tell you that horror movies are not my thing. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate horror movies for what they are, entertainment, but overall it is something I avoid. When I first heard of this movie, Split, I was going to avoid it at all costs but I finally gave it a chance when I saw that it came to HBO earlier this month. I went in with very low expectations because I cannot forgive M. Night Shyamalan, the director of this film, for the abysmal The Happening and I was beyond surprised by Split.
Shyamalan seems to be on a pretty good streak as of late with his last venture The Visit, which was pretty good, and Split, which people are proclaiming to be his full return to form. There is nothing revolutionary about the story of the film when you talk about it with friends or family but this film is something special in the way that Shyamalan crafted the film. He creates a world that makes you scared but also makes you feel invested in the story progresses to its bloody climax.
The thing that surprised me entirely was that the acting was phenomenal. Since the film centers around a man with 23 different personalities, the film rests on the acting of James McAvoy, who is mainly known for sympathetic hero roles, and he does not disappoint. This is undoubtedly my favorite performance of McAvoy’s since Atonement. He creates a character that is not only believable in this role but he is also very frightening in his portrayal of the many personalities that the script called for. Without a good portrayal of this type of character, I doubt that the film would have worked as a whole.
I would highly recommend this film to people, even those who do not like horror movies.
I was also pleasantly surprised by this film after seeing what I assume to be a massively expensive advertising campaign by Amazon, which is where you can see the film if you have Amazon Prime, over this past summer. The film is kind of light on laughs, which they emphasized in the coming attractions, but it makes up for this with a tender and loving portrayal of characters that you will love by the end of the film. The fact that this is a true story involving the main actor, Kumail Nanjiani, and Emily V. Gordon, who also collaborated on the screenplay as well, makes the story even more lovable.
This film is not a traditional romantic comedy because it tackles several different issues that rom-coms do not usually touch. The film discusses interracial relationships and even to a larger extent, the life of an Islamic man in the United States. The main character, Kumail, faces backlash and upfront discrimination from many different directions through the course of the film. He deals with this with humor which is where the film gets most of its humor from.
Overall it is a wonderful film but does not go in with the expectation that you will laugh your ass off. It is more a dramatic film in my opinion.
Dunkirk-2017– The movie that you should be cautious about.
I was a little nervous thinking about how I would approach writing about this film. I love Christopher Nolan movies, his Dark Knight trilogy is one of the best things to come out of modern cinema in my opinion, but I just could not wrap my head around this PG-13 war movie. I was a little skeptical before I saw this movie and I came out of the theater pretty disappointed by the end product. Don’t get me wrong, I think this is an okay movie, maybe a six out of ten if ten is the best in my opinion. I saw the intrinsic value of Dunkirk which felt like an arthouse film, mixed with the angst of a PG-13 film, and finally topped off with the thriller.
Let me get into detail with the angst portion of what I mean and I know that people will have different ideas on this topic. PG-13 movies about serious topics like war make me feel that the producers just wanted to appeal to more a general audience (as opposed to R-Rated movies which only let in people over the age of seventeen). War is a serious topic and one that needs to show the graphic nature of this topic for an audience to understand. I feel that this film did not do a service to the story of the evacuation at Dunkirk by shying away from the violence. I am not saying that war films must be like Saving Private Ryan or Black Hawk Down, where bloodshed is very prevalent, but I do think that the movie’s main focal points, which was the chaos of war along with survival at all costs, was lost.
Everything in this film is top-notch, with a great orchestral score which incorporated the ticking a clock, and good acting but I still felt disappointed with this film. I walked out of the theater wanting to like the movie but over time, I just realized that it was not my cup of tea but I could see that other people would enjoy it.