Abre Los Ojos (Open Your EYes
You may know this film by another film; Vanilla Sky. After all, instead of watching an original film only with subtitles, Hollywood seem to be awash with remaking foreign movies and adding some famous face to the story (or several famous faces) in order to appeal to a wider audience. Of course, this only works if the film had some action, horror or thrill because a film with depth and substance is just ignored by the bigwigs (but then again no one wants to see a remake of All About My Mother with Tom Cruise.)
Ok, so I digressed a little and I must accept that remakes, especially American ones are here to stay. After all, the very first motion picture was actually re-made a year later with a storyline (that’s The Great Train Robbery, for those who don’t know.) It’s an extremely long tradition (it still doesn’t make it, right.)
I digress again. This is about 1997 original Abre Los Ojos (Open Your Eyes) is the tragic tale of Cesar (Eduardo Noriega.) Cesar is a sexy playboy who sleeps around with women. When he meets Sofia (Penelope Cruise who ,) at a friend’s party, he falls in love despite the fact she is his best friends girlfriend. Although they never sleep together, they spend the night just talking only to find the next day that his crazy ex Nuria (Najwa Nimri) has come back. Nuria offers sex with Cesar but on the way, she intentionally crashes the car. Killing herself and disfiguring Cesar beyond repair, Cesar’s life is turn violently upside down as he sinks further into to despair.
(Penelope Cruise shows her chest in both this and Vanilla Sky so it is worth it.)
Open Your Eyes is a revolutionary movie that takes the narrative and breathes in new life to an old twist. What director Alejandro Amenabar does is orchestrate a damn near perfect movie that is full of twists and turns. He creates a tunnel into the idea of dreaming, alternate reality and a small matrix that completely changes your perspective. Much like movies before such as Fight Club, we are lead to believe that we are watching one story when all of a sudden the director flips it on its head and ends up changing the whole path. It’s a tense and tight thriller and science fiction that works impeccably on every level. It lingers long after your first watch. I read a review of this movie that said Amenabar was a combination of Stanley Kubrick and David Lynch, which I am wholeheartedly behind. Amenabar combines a slick pulse racing thriller with the obscure and weird and makes science fiction seem strangely realistic.
Open Your Eyes is a well-acted, well scripted and well done. The story is a fresh unique tale that although I ranted and raved is stuck to pretty well in Vanilla Sky (so I’m not going to judge you too harshly if you go for the original first, only if you watch this after.) Its wholly brilliant and does not falter once. It entwines style, substance and great fiction altogether. Open your eyes and watch it now.