James McAvoy plays Kevin, a schizophrenic with 23 distinct personalities. Although we see small traits of all of them during the film, especially in the scenes with his therapist, the main personalities are; Dennis, who is aggressive with OCD, Patricia, a cross-dresser, Hedwig, a 9 year old boy who feels repressed by the other personalities, and Barry – who spends most of his time as the “controlling” personality, and who is polite, kind and gentle.
Dennis kidnaps three girls and keeps them captive within Kevin’s apartment. Throughout the film you’re introduced to some of the main personalities, and as a result the girls begin to learn that they’re being held by the same person, albeit with completely different personalities, and that someone new, currently unknown, but who all the other personalities are very fearful of will be joining the party soon.
Truth be told, I don’t know how James McAvoy managed to capture the different traits, accents and mannerisms of all 23 personalities so well, and bring them all to life within this movie. He deserves an award, and it was truly a sight to behold on screen.
The film itself runs with twists and turns, but none so much that they lose or confuse you, just enough to keep you trying to guess the next play, or which personality will be next to appear. McAvoy’s ability to convert between personalities at what seems like a whim, means that scenes between him and the therapist are all that more engrossing as the “main” personality struggles to maintain control over the other 22.
One thing I would point out is that the ending didn’t really live up to the rest of the movie. I honestly hate it when that happens, as all you’re left with is a sour taste in your mouth, and a feeling of why did I bother with the other 90 minutes to be left dangling. Whilst it isn’t the ending I would’ve hoped for, it shouldn’t discourage you from watching what otherwise is a really cleverly written film.
who should watch it?
For fans of M. Night Shyamalan movies, this is a must-see (despite the poor ending). If you enjoyed Unbreakable (another Shyamalan offering) this will also be right up your street.