You are on page 1of 2



Samuel H. Aquino Jr.


The panel of critics believes that every human has a craving for knowledge, a need. The arduous
thinking the readers will undergo from reading this movie review will make them feel intellectually
satisfied. This review will help justify the possibility of the existence of Dissociative Identity Disorder. It
will add to the readers preexisting knowledge about the nature of DID. It will provide the reader additional
knowledge about the possible origin and cause of DID. And finally, this movie review will stimulate the
reader to think further and thus, may come up with something about DID that nobody has thought about


The Panel of critic focuses their analytical attention to the character of Dr. David Calloway played
by Robert de Niro. The critics are interested about the condition of Dr. Calloway’s marital relationship prior
to his dissociation. They are also concerned about the possible cause and origin of his dissociation. And
they are very much riveted by the resulting circumstances after his dissociation.
Dr. David Calloway is a practicing psychologist. He is married and has a daughter named Emily.
Emily is more intimate with her mother than to his father, Dr. David.
One night as the couple attended a party, Mrs. Calloway discreetly exited from the throng of people
together with the host of the party. The doctor saw them and followed. At the stairs, he saw his wife with
this certain man in a very passionate business.
After the party, the couple went home evidently emotionally distant to each other. At 2:06 early
morning, Mrs. Calloway was dead in the tub. It was ruled out as suicide.
Emily was so traumatized by the event that she had to undergo psychotherapy. Thinking it best to
expose her to new environment, Dr. Calloway decided to transfer to a new home in the suburbs.
Soon after, their lives were disturbed by the appearance of Emily’s imaginary friend named
“Charlie”. It all started out as fun but Charlie was getting more and more dangerous. Dr. Calloway was
soon to discover that he is Charlie that he has dissociated. With this stressful discovery, Dr. Calloway died.
Emily was left with Charlie. Charlie terrorized the little girl in their game of hide and seek. But with the
intervention of another psychologist, Charlie was put to stop in his dangerous schemes.


SPLITTING from Psychic Defense Mechanism of the

Object Relations Theory by Melanie Klein.

Individuals can only manage the good and bad aspects of themselves and of external objects by
splitting them, that is, by keeping apart incompatible impulses. Splitting is synonymous to dissociation.
Before the process of dissociation is put in action, the ego first must acknowledge the existence of
two incompatible impulses, the good and bad aspects of internal and external objects. The good and bad
aspects cannot go together. They must be separated by dissociation. In order to separate the good and
the bad objects, the ego then must be itself split.
If the goof and bad or positive and negative objects are brought together, the ego will be put under
extreme tension from this opposite objects. Unless there is dissociation, the ego will not survive such
Splitting the ego is normal, and in fact helpful in moderate degrees. However, brought to an
extreme circumstance, the ego may be split that the result may be two basically independent egos, that
is, two personalities.


To be able to identify the causes of the abnormal behavior using the Theory of Splitting/
Dissociation in the Psychic Defense Mechanism by Klein, there should first be the existence of a traumatic
and stressful event. As in the case of Dr. Calloway, his discovery of his wife’s extramarital affair is the
traumatic incident.
To continue, there should also be two extremely opposite objects resulting to the traumatic event.
In this movie, after his discovery, the panel of critics theorizes that Dr. Calloway felt the opposite
emotions of love and hate. He was bound by love for his wife yet is motivated by his hate to take revenge.
As the theory states, the ego will be unable to hold such extremely opposite emotions, thus, it has
to split or dissociate itself. Dr. Calloway’s ego split itself into the loving father and the murderous
husband, the loving Dr. David Calloway and the hateful Charlie. Charlie killed Mrs. Calloway, however, as
the theory stated, the two egos are basically independent of each other, so the memory of the experience
was left with the more evil Charlie.


The Panel of Critics hypothesizes then that the opposite emotions of Dr. David Calloway for his wife
brought about by her infidelity caused the Doctor’s ego to dissociate, creating two distinct and opposite
personalities to contain the two separate emotions and their corresponding memories.


The Panel of Critics believes then that the stressful events of life, if not confronted, may lead to
pathological dissociation. They gather that if an individual is facing a problem, confrontation, and not
denial, is the best way to deal with it.
Therefore, they suggest that every individual should practice the habit of self-confrontation and
introspection if they are to stay away from extreme dissociation or splitting and developing Dissociative
Identity Disorder.