on October 27, 2002
This film is all about tone and mood and introversion. It's not the follow along plot line that we are used to in American cinema, but something much more surreal. The plot is intriguing, exciting, with the main characters capturing your interest right away as opposites with similar pain. I suppose what makes this a five star film to me is that it's like reading a really intense book (though I haven't read the book this is based on as of yet). You become submerged in the story, in the atmosphere... the credits come up and you're still trapped inside the film, full of contradicting emotions and ideas. I find that any movie that haunts me after I've seen it is rare. Having worked in a video store for four years, I've seen a great deal of movies and those rare few that can encapsulate you into thier world entirely are like strange jewels scattered among the same shelves with the usual gravel. I recommend this movie whole-heartedly, yet believe it is best viewed alone, perferably at night... might as well induldge yourself, after all it's about being in the dark, alone, watching someone else.
Don't expect anything ordinary or predictable about this plot. The characters are flawed creatures whose moves and motives change in a consistantly realistic way. The two characters actually switch roles as the film progresses. It's fascinating material.
Alright. Enough praise. Rent it. Why not? It's only a buck or two (unless you're going to some hideous chain store).
Clear your head and expect to get sucked in. Whether or not you like it or not, you'll be hypnotised...
on August 24, 2002
I've owned this movie for 2 years now, and have come to the final conclusion that this is my all time favourite film. As close to perfection that I've seen in such a long time. The musical score provides a brilliant "manic" back-drop. The direction--simply superb. You have to be a pretty lifeless person to not be drawn into the plot, a plot which thickens with every passing second. The acting is superior, you really get a feel for the characters inner workings. It's very easy to sympathesize with their perspectives.
Regardless of the emotional wreckage and devious mindset surrounding the leads, I found their portrayals most enjoyable. All the while being drawn in, you want feel for them. You simply will not relate to this film if you don't understand a life of serious downs--all the while trying to keep an optimistic eye. It's the pleasures and wayward distractions that make life exciting after all.
Now the ending is a bit abrupt, and you find all emotions coming to a halt. But that is part of the effect the movie leaves on you. Making you want more, wanting more answers, wanting more emotional fullfillment--though yet you wouldn't want a single thing changed...
The critics and many average reviewers alike slam this movie with mass amounts of pesimistic negativity. They obviously missed the point and really don't know how dreary life can be.
on October 26, 2001
An british detective named Stephen Wilson (Ewan McGregor) better known as the Eye. His new assignment is to watch an confused woman named Joanna Eris (Ashley Judd), she has been running from the law for years. Since Stephen has been with her every move, he begins to fall in love with her and also finds out that Joanna is a murderer killing almost every man is meets. Stephen wants to help her more than putting her in Jail.
Smart film with Terrfic Performance from McGregor and Judd. Well written and directed by Stephan Elliott (The Adventures of Priscilla:Queen of the Desert) from the Novel by Marc Behm. DVD`s has strong anamorphic Widescreen (2.35:1) transfer and Pan & Scan is included. Excellent Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. Including an director`s commentary. The DVD from Canada is in Pan & Scan, Dolby Stereo Sound and also has a Deleted Scene and an Altertive Ending. This Film is not for all Tastes but It`s Smart, Ambitious, Strange and Original in it`s Own Way. Super 35. Grade:A.
on September 18, 2001
Based on the almost universal panning of this movie as one of the worst ever, I avoided seeing it for quite a while. Finally I broke down and watched it one night and honestly do not understand all the criticism. I thought it was a fairly engrossing movie that kept me interested throughout the entire film.
To address a couple common complaints about the movie... A lot here say it was extremely confusing. Although not a traditional plot for a movie, I didn't really see all that much to be confused about, it was fairly straightforward. Most people seem to hate the movie for the ending alone. While I agree its kind of an 'open' ending, its not that its necessarily bad. There's basically 2 things that could possibly occur after the ending of the movie (I won't reveal them for spoiler sake). Why is it so bad that the writer doesn't tell you which of the 2 things occurred? Because it wasn't important to the story what happens afterwards, it was everything leading up to that point that was important.
While you are kind of thrown into the whole plot without much upfront explanation, Ewan's character is thrown into his feelings just as suddenly and that is when the story begins. Throughout the film you piece together bits and pieces of each characters past to make you understand why they are doing the things they do and what led up to them. Its basically a contrast of 2 people who have suffered great loss and how they cope with it.
I also found the camera effects to be very good as well as good acting through the film.
So if you need a movie where everything is tied up nice and neat at the end, this may not be for you, but other than that there really isn't too much to dislike about it. Give it a try.
on June 19, 2001
The Eye (Ewan McGregor) is a techno security nebbish for the British government assigned to watch after the wayward son of a high government official. What he observes is the murder of the son by a beautiful woman for whom his shock quickly descends into an erratic obsessive love beyond the call of duty. The murderess, Johanna Eris (Ashley Judd) kills every man who yearns to get close having been deserted as a child by her father. Problematic to the story is the audience's realization that years before The Eye crossed the threshold from reality to fantasy loosing his daughter with whom he continues to converse, a ghostly reminder of his lonely existance. Director Stephen Elliot (Pricilla, Queen of the Desert) earnestly tries to pull off this muddled murder-thriller. Elliot wants to overwhelm his audience with the idea of love out of control and the haunted emotions of longing and loneliness, but he is unable to rise beyond the problematic script. Judd is distant, an iceberg far from sexy, her acting is anything but compelling in the role of an older woman. Ewan McGregor, cast against type succeeds in bringing sympathetic pathos to his hunt with desperation and the need to find the daughter he's lost. The surprising small cameos of Jason Priestley as a evil drug-head, and Genevieve Boujould are high points in the film. Nevertheless, the film is long on concept and short on follow through. Critics and audiences hated this film, but it is not altogether bad nor an incomprehensible film. The DVD version includes commentary by director Elliot, deleted scenes, and an alternative ending that should have been left in the film. It's a good rental film and worth a look if you enjoy films that are off-center.
on April 5, 2001
What a Sad, Sad Waste. "Eye of the Beholder" has Two Rapidly Up-and-coming Actors (Ewan McGregor and Ashley Judd) in the leads, enough Visual Style to fill 3 films, and a great set up that looks like it should lead to a great film... It doesn't.
The Film hits a Crossroad at about the 30 Minute mark, and the Director (Stefan Elliot) takes the Arthouse Route instead of the Mainstream Route... A route which leads the film absolutely Nowhere. The non-existent plot gets Bogged down with Crap performances, Overkill on the Directors part and a total Lack of Tension, Thrills or Direction.
Even Dialogue seems to have been cut, all for the sake of the Directors Warped Vision. The Film ends up looking like a Long running 70's TV Series with Episodes Missing here and there. The Actors are all very talented and they deserve Much better material. Ewan seems Bored and Embarrassed, which is forgivable, as so would any actor in his role. Ashley is actually Quite Good, she has a Sympathetic role which comes across well and allows her to show a lot of Emotion. In the end, it's Jason Priestly who Steals the Show. He proves himself to be quite a Versatile Actor and he nearly makes the film worthwhile.
"Eye of the Beholder" still gets a 3 out of 5, because the first 40 minutes are genuinely Interesting, Jason Priestly gives a Very Cool performance and Ashley Judd looks Great. Apart from all that, it's all down hill.
on October 25, 2000
Let me start on a few positive notes. This is a nicely filmed movie, as seen on DVD. Visually was interesting and very well done. The acting was also not too bad. Therefore, I gave it one star.
However, those the only positive attributes to this mess of a movie. It was an agonizing two hours of cinema. Yes, I did watch the whole film because I refuse to make judgements on only the first parts of a film. Plus, I was hoping that it would get a little more interesting. Needless to say, It didn't. It crawled along at an excruciatingly slow pace from one city and event to the next. Also, I felt like there was no tension being built or maintained throughout.
In addition, the little girl in the film, though needed, just annoyed me to no end and made the film that much more difficult to get through.
Basically, do not rent or purchase "Eye of the Beholder"...............EVER. If you want have an experience that is comparable to this movie, get a snowglobe (which, I must admit, this movie does use as a nice transitional item), shake it and stare for two hours.
on July 2, 2000
I fell in love with Eye of the Beholder the first time I saw it. I don't know why I had such a momentous reaction to this film, but something seemed to "click". The story is very original, but doesn't seem to hold enough water. The scene transitions are, at times, spectacular; with steady camera movement and somewhat random fades. Its a very slow movie, considering that there's not much to work with, and the acting appears very dull and bland. However, Eye of the Beholder is about two sociopaths who eventially find each other, so heavy acting really doesn't fit the storyline. The sound and picture quality are both moderate, and much of the dialogue drifts with little emotion. Eye of the Beholder is not hollywood material and, to some, may appear very very depressing, due to the films bleak attitude. Its a romance with a 180 degree twist, and is suitable for anyone who has the patience for slow drama. Its a good movie to view once, but I would not be very enthusiastic to own it. Rent it before buying it, and endulge.
on June 21, 2000
If ever a movie was put forth that concentrates on the extreme sense of loss and loneliness that a person can experience in life, it is the latest film by Stephan Elliot. "Eye of the Beholder" is a vibrant package of gorgeous thrills that are as stunning as the lead actors' preformances as well as the splendid cinematography. While the movie may be confusing to some, and previews will surely mislead those in the mood for action sequences, those of you in the market for suspense that keeps mounting amidst an alluring backdrop shall be enthralled. Ewan McGregor (Trainspotting, The Pillow Book) stars as The Eye, an undercover agent assigned to investigate the blackmail of a government official's son. Upon tracking the suspect, he soon dicsovers that the blackmailer, a sexy yet sinister woman, is really a serial killer with deep emotional instability. As his surveillance continues, he begins to develop feelings for her, and his connection with her costs him his loyalty to his work as he works to keep her safe from the hands of the law. The pace builds with intensity as he gets closer to her, but to reveal himself would mean losing her forever. The film, based upon the 1980 novel by Marc Behm, while slandered by the highest of critics, is, in my opinion, a stunning visual and emotional achievement that sweeps its audience into an involving and tragic story of obsession, loss and loneliness. Says director Stephan Elliott: "I saw it as a story of two lost souls... that is what The Eye and Joanna Eris share- a deep sense of loss." Those feelings of loss are beautifully acted by Judd and McGregor, who play their parts with a unique brand of mystery and intensity. As The Eye, McGregor's moods change as swiftly as his location, shifting from stern and involved-with-work to emotionally imbalanced as he thinks of his losses and the woman he cannot hope to gain. Judd's Eris moves with catlike precision throughout the film, gliding through the streets with just the right degree of wariness and suspicion. It is evident from her portrayal that Judd is an actress worthy of playing a woman constantly on the run. Certain filmmaking effects help to contribute to the intensity of certain moments in the film. The scene on the street in New York City, in which Eris steps out of her apartment and is told by her landlord that a strange man has "been following her around all week," is moved at a suspenseful pace by close-ups of Eris, now required to keep her guard up, an ear-pounding techno score by Marius de Vries, and close-ups of pedestrians from her point-of-view. Another example of sound effects adding to the quickening suspense is the scene on the sidewalk of Chicago, where Joanna outsmarts The Eye and begins following him. The sound of this sequence is devoid of all else except for the footsteps of these two characters, creating a void in which they alone reside. One reason for the film's negative criticism was its ad campaigning. Theatrical trailers and television commercials promoted the film to be a fast-paced action piece, when in truth, it is a slow-building story with an very involving plot that takes its time to unfold and reveal. Those looking for a movie that gives its answers in the first fifteen minutes will be surely disappointed, but those who look for involvement and creativity will be pleased with this film, which is a wonderful achievement.
on June 16, 2000
I don't mind movies with not so likeable characters, or even when the plot gets strained sometimes - but this movie was horrible! It had the worst character motivation in the world - it is horrible.
Imagine you lost your wife and daughter cause you worked too hard as a secret service agent for the British government. Ok, that would mess you up etc...now imagine you are following a woman as part of your job and she brutally stabs the man you are following like 20 times, then she sits down and cries, "Oh Daddy" - which somehow triggers in his mind that he left his daughter and that his mind is telling him to "not leave her alone" because in his mind that is what his daughter is telling him.
Ok, so you see this chic stab someone brutally, then you decide to forget your duty and your job, you witness this woman hack up another 4 guys, you kill another man she is happy with, you shoot at cops to free her, she tries to kill you, and all this time Ewan's character is just so smitten with her. Bah! This movie was garbage - totally unbelievable and lame...Ewan lets 4 innocent men die at her hands because he is smitten with her...this is a secret service agent, you know those guys who have guts and minds of steel....this movie sucked.
Other things that made this movie stupid were unbelievable things like this: He goes to visit her in the hospital, and he asks for her, and the nurse says it is nice someone is visiting her, and as he is going to walk to see her, the nurse says, "You know she lost the baby don't you?" HELLO! That would never happen...no nurse would tell a man she does not know, and does not know his relation to the victim that information - it is even against patient confidentiality also...stuff like that makes you cringe as a viewer.