Sunday, March 25, 2007

Review: Open Your Eyes

I picked up Alejandro Amembar's 'Open Your Eyes' (Abre Los Ojos) from Netflix, since it looked sorta like 'Road' from RGV's Factory (whatever happened to them...they've been more run-of-the-mill than even Karan Johar for sometime now!). I mean, the hero's miffed, deranged ex-girlfriend offers him a lift that he never should have accepted - sounds similar, doesn't it? But o-boy, was I mistaken!

'Open Your Eyes' is as close to a mind-fuck as you can get. If you thought 'Eternal Sunshine...' played games with your mind, wait till you see this. The director takes one of our most common filmi cliches, the horrific dream which the hero suddenly snaps out of, and weaves a teasing, tantalizing tale out of it. I really can't say any more about the plot, without divulging the crux of the movie. However, take it from me, this is an exhilarating movie experience - sorta like watching 'Matrix' for the first time, minus the mind-blowing action sequences.

Eduardo Noregia does a terrific job as the protagonist. He is never over-the-top, and plays his role with just the right amount of frustration and menace. Penelope Cruz, as always, is a treat to watch on screen (especially topless!). But the true hero of this film is the director Alejandro Amembar, who's also credited for the writing. He's weaved together the psychological thriller and sci-fi genres seamlessly, and magnificently at that.

The movie bears quite some similarity to our own B&W classic 'Yakshi', starring Sathyan-maash (as he is popularly known) in one of his more famous performances. The psychology of somebody who's face is grotesquely mutilated, and their attitude toward sympathy (especially from women) is quite similar in both these movies. There are other similarities too, but I can't give those away without divulging the plot. Of course, the Malayalam movie is a lot more melodramatic, and it hasn't aged tremendously well. However, 'Open Your Eyes' gives us an idea as to how 'Yakshi' could be remade as today. However, if the remake is gonna be like what Hema Malini made with Madhoo (I think the name of the movie was 'Mohini'), then I think they'd rather not even try.

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