Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Eye of the Beholder

Directed by Stephen Elliott, Destination Films, 1999, Ewan McGregor, Ashley Judd, Patrick Bergin k.d. Lang and Genevieve Bujold.

Genre: Drama, Mystery, Thriller.

Question: Can a man fall in love with a woman that he's never met, spoken to or doesn't even know her real name? Well, in the Eye of the Beholder, they try and answer that question.

A friend who knows I adore Ewan McGregor told me about this movie. I hadn't heard of it before and was curious to see it. Alright, I see everything he is in, you all know that by now, right? Anyway, I put it on my Netflix queue a few weeks ago and it arrived on Tuesday. I didn't get a chance to see it that night - although I really, really wanted to. So today before I had to pick up the kids from camp I popped it in.

This is a story about redemption, a thriller, and a love story but not necessarily in that order. Yes, I know what it says above but this is what I saw in this film (Eye of the Beholder, people). I saw a man and a woman who are both so alone, scared and with thoughts of such tremendous loss that they might be a little insane. Okay, one might be more insane than the other. But as the story unfolds I don't think either are really crazy - just lonely and trying to gain some stability in their lives.

When people see themselves in someone else who has experienced similar tragedies/heartaches/loss it can be a very powerful attraction. Is that love? Perhaps. Or is it something else completely? And can it have a happy ending? Well, I am not going to answer that - you'll just have to see for yourself.

I really don't want to give anything away about this movie because it was lovely to see a film that I knew nothing about. But I have to entice you guys, right? Ewan looks cute, of course, and Ashley Judd is quite attractive but what impressed me the most were their performances. How does one portray such sadness, desperation to find something secure or recapture what they lost especially when there isn't a tremendous amount of dialogue? Well, both of the actors did - and did it quite well.

Another reason to see this film is that it is untainted with a typical Hollywood ending. That alone would make me see any movie.

Lastly, to me, Eye of the Beholder said something about real life - not so much what the characters said but they way they behaved. Behavior is thought to be a reaction of or to something. In acting reaction is the essence of the medium but can be written totally out of whack of real life. They say: For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. And for the two characters, played by Ewan McGregor and Ashley Judd, the force between them, even though they hardly shared many moments together, evoked that law of physics stunningly.

There was one song that played when they first met, so to speak, that gave me goosebumps - It is sung by Chrissie Hynde. "I Wish You Love" - and that pretty much sums it all up for me. Here is the song and a really, really good way to do a trailer!

Favorite thing: Don't be shocked by this - Ashley Judd. Yes, I still thought he was good!

My least favorite thing: In some scenes the costumes for the extras looked like it was supposed to be 1972 not present day.

Rating: R
Length: 109 minutes

Review: 8 out of 10