People with a split personality have long ceased to amaze society, but 24 characters live inside the hero of the thriller M. Night Shyamalan, and not all of them are harmless. The meaning and plot of the movie “Split” is based on the pain and experiences that shape the human psyche.
What is the movie about
School outcast Casey Cook and two of her classmates are kidnapped by a stranger and brought to a warehouse, where they are locked in a windowless room. As the girls panic, Casey tries to figure out where she’s gotten to and how to get out of there.
It turns out that the kidnapper’s name is Kevin Crumb, he suffers from multiple personality disorder. One of them, Dennis, kidnapped the girls. Almost immediately, the captives get acquainted with another incarnation of Kevin – Patricia. The rest of the personalities rejected both and called them the Horde.
Casey manages to get into close contact with the kidnapper’s third ego, Hedwig, a nine-year-old boy. He gives the captives a detailed description of the Beast, which will soon awaken and restore order.
Kevin regularly visits psychotherapist Karen Fletcher. She develops an interpretation of his behavior based on logic, but suspects that the client’s unusual illness can give birth to anyone.
Fletcher finds out about the kidnapped girls, but Crumb puts her to sleep. Then he goes to the railway station, where, supposedly, the Beast lives. There, at last, the monster awakens. Kevin’s body changes: it becomes strong and muscular, and the skin becomes thick and impenetrable. The beast kills Karen.
Casey meets with the Beast and calls Kevin by name. For a short time, the true personality returns and says that he has no memory of the events of recent years. He gives Casey a gun and asks him to kill him, but the girl does not have the courage.
The Beast brutally kills Casey’s classmates. He begins to pursue the last victim. Casey shoots him several times, but the bullets do not penetrate the thick skin. An aggressive personality almost kills the girl, but accidentally sees the scars on her body. Beast notices a resemblance to Casey and lets her go. The girl learns that she and her classmates are not random victims of Crumb. He was looking for people who did not know pain for the Beast, but he was mistaken with Casey herself.
The heroine is taken home by her uncle, who abused her as a child. The beast heals wounds. He stands in front of a mirror and communicates with the reflection from the face of several personalities. The meaning of the scene is that Kevin is suppressed forever, and the Horde is finally freed.
At the end of the film, David Dunn appears, who has come to the city to hunt down “Mr. Glass” – his old enemy. He sees a similarity between him and Kevin.
Key personalities of Kevin
Kevin Crumb has 24 personalities in his body. Five are especially active.
Dennis . A cunning and prudent man, always dressed “to the point”. He despises everyone indiscriminately. The difficult character was the reason that other personalities rejected him. Dennis is often in contact with the outside world, skillfully pretending.
Patricia . A middle-aged woman with her own mental disorder. Ally of Dennis, also rejected by the “family”. She wants to gain power over the rest, which she is ready to share only with Dennis.
Hedwig . A nine-year-old child, naive and open. But not stupid. Can easily recognize deception. Hedwig, like any child, is easily pissed off.
Barry . The most “adequate” person. A somewhat cutesy, harmless fashion designer who controls the appearance of other personalities. It was he who talked with a psychotherapist for a long time. But later he was suppressed by the Horde.
Beast. 24th personality, aggressor, mutant, cannibal. A strong man who can break bones with his hands, who is not taken by knives or bullets.
The main character of the film often breaks school rules in order to stay after school and be alone with herself. During conversations with Hedwig, Casey admits that she enjoys being alone. Gradually, the viewer gets an explanation of the reasons for this behavior.
When Casey was young, she became a victim of her pedophile uncle. She did not have the courage to tell her father about what had happened, and no one found out about the relative’s crime. When Casey’s father died, her uncle became her guardian. Therefore, the girl did not want to return home from school – she was afraid to be under the same roof with him.
Casey intentionally hurt herself to take her mind off things. Because of the scars, she always wore closed clothes. It was these injuries that saved her from the Beast, who realized that his victim was as “broken” as himself.
After suffering the shocks, Casey for the first time saw the meaning of life. The finale shows the viewer another Cook, who is no longer going to tolerate arbitrariness.
The main character of the film “Split” is released from one captivity, but returns to another. In one of the last scenes, the uncle takes his niece home. Casey realizes that the horror is not over yet. But the fight with the Beast made it clear that she was not as weak as she thought she was. There is a hidden meaning in this scene: most likely, the heroine will finally have the courage to tell the police about the crimes of a relative and free herself from his encroachments.
Not everything is so rosy with Kevin. He is finally overwhelmed by the Horde, now led by the Beast.
The meaning of the ending of the movie “Split” is closely related to the movie “Unbreakable” in 2000, which started this story. In the final episode, the character of Bruce Willis appears, who sees the similarities between Kevin and “Mr. Glass” – his old enemy. The explanation for the ending is that “Split” is the second part of “Unbreakable”, the connecting link. The content of the last scene clearly speaks of a sequel in which both stories merge into one.
The meaning of the film
The main idea of the film “Split”, according to Shyamalan, is in psychological trauma and its consequences. The main characters of the picture are deeply traumatized individuals who are trying in various ways to survive their troubles.
It is known that a mental state is formed in childhood, so the causes of any deviations must be sought there. Both Kevin and Casey were abused by loved ones.
Kevin’s father abandoned the family when his son was a child. It was imprinted in the boy’s memory that he had left by train. It was at the railway station that the Beast was born. This place represents the darkest memories and emotions. Kevin put all his anger, resentment and hatred into him, thereby giving birth to a monster in himself.
The personality of Hedwig, in turn, speaks of the vulnerable soul of the hero, of his experiences. Kevin was not allowed to enjoy his childhood. After his father left, his mother severely mocked him, but then there was no one who could protect him. Therefore, Hedwig hides behind strong personalities and is afraid to break away from the “family”.
Part of Kevin yearned for strength and independence from an early age. He often imagined dealing with his mother and other offenders. This is the key to the appearance of Dennis and Patricia. Their lust for power has doubled and is out of control.
Casey Cook’s childhood was almost similar to that of Kevin Crumb. At an early age, she was raped by her uncle, who was not punished for what he had done. Fear and shame consumed Casey’s mind, alienated her from the world. The girl locked herself in her own “cocoon” and deliberately injured herself in order to drown out terrible memories for a while.
Casey quickly felt on the same wavelength as Hedwig, a creature as defenseless as herself. At first, the girl was comfortable, but over time, she began to understand how limited and dangerous the world around Hedwig is. Casey found fulfillment in the struggle for freedom, began to realize her strength and realized that she was no longer a little girl. Now she can take care of herself. The ending shows a new Casey: in the police car, her eyes are full of determination. She no longer wants to be afraid and silent.
The essence of the film is how different people cope with psychological trauma. Some withdraw into themselves, while others create a fictional world in which they are happy and protected. Despite the fact that “Split” contains fantastic elements, it describes the real mental disorders that more and more people are exposed to.
- Unbreakable , USA, 2000. David Dunn narrowly survives a train accident. A man nicknamed “Mr. Glass” convinces him that this is the influence of supernatural abilities.
- Glass , USA, 2019. David Dunn, Kevin Crumb and Elijah Price meet in a psychiatric clinic. They will face each other in a decisive battle. Sequel to the movie “Split”.
- “Refuge” , USA, 2010. Psychiatrist tries to debunk myths about split personality syndrome. A new patient makes her question her theory.
- “Hippo” , UK, 2018. The story of the kidnapping of the girl Ruby by a maniac obsessed with her.
- “Ghostland” , Canada, France, 2018. Maniacs kidnap two sisters and keep them in a closed house for years. One of the girls created an alternative reality for herself, where she is free, happy and successful.