I just watched the film “Split” on DVD fully expecting it to be another insensitive Hollywood swipe at depicting mental illness. I emerged with mixed feelings. The film abides by a familiar abduction plot, cute teenage girls locked away in some basement dungeon with a deranged warden and complicated motives. M. Night Shyamalan (wrote and directed the film) is known for injecting a sense of unease and a bit of twisted suspense in his films. He does put his personal stamp on this one but the plotting is fairly standard. What distinguishes “Split” is our villain—a man with a serious mental illness. The trained eye easily diagnoses Dissociative Identity Disorder, however an explicit classification doesn’t come until near the end of the film.
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