Open Your Eyes

Open Your Eyes

4.4 7
Director: Alejandro Amenábar

Cast: Alejandro Amenábar, Eduardo Noriega, Penélope Cruz, Chete Lera

     
 

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The line between dreams and reality become increasingly blurred after a womanizing playboy is nearly killed by a jilted lover in Spanish director Alejandro Amenabar's masterful sophomore effort Abre Los Ojos (Open Your Eyes). It would seem as if Cesar (Eduardo Noriega) has it all. Handsome, charming, and with money to burn, he can get any girl he wants,See more details below

Overview

The line between dreams and reality become increasingly blurred after a womanizing playboy is nearly killed by a jilted lover in Spanish director Alejandro Amenabar's masterful sophomore effort Abre Los Ojos (Open Your Eyes). It would seem as if Cesar (Eduardo Noriega) has it all. Handsome, charming, and with money to burn, he can get any girl he wants, and usually does so on a nightly basis. Following a birthday party in which he chats up Sofia (Penelope Cruz), the date of his best friend Pelayo (Fele Martinez), Cesar is plunged headfirst into a nightmare world when jealous former lover Nuria (Najwa Nimri) swallows a handful of pills and sends her car careening into a cement wall with the terrified playboy as her hapless passenger. With his formerly strikingly handsome face now twisted into a hideous mass of scarred flesh, Cesar's ugly emotions are now externalized for all to see. Pining for a plastic-surgery miracle to return him to his former glory so that he can seek out Sofia and take a chance at real love, he is pleasantly surprised when the doctors make a breakthrough and Sofia accepts him back into her life. Although all seems perfect for the moment, the formerly soulless player finds that this is only the beginning of his increasingly disturbing journey. Why is Sofia changing appearance and turning into Nuria periodically? And why won't the police and his psychiatrist believe Cesar's desperate attempts to rationalize a world that is growing increasingly surreal? Could it have something to do with a doctor Cesar has seen on television who keeps appearing and attempting to help him out of his nightmare? Peeling away at the layers of his subconscious, Cesar begins to realize that reality is no more than a state of mind, and that in order to get his life back he may be forced to take unthinkable measures.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Josh Ralske
Open Your Eyes opened doors in Hollywood for its Spanish director, Alejandro Amenabar. Amenabar and screenwriter Mateo Gil created an odd and compelling film that is by turns unsettling and somewhat silly. The film is at its strongest when dramatizing how the narcissistic womanizer Cesar (Eduardo Noriega, who also starred in Amenabar's first film, Thesis) deals with his disfigurement. His obsession with his appearance is so severe that he even stops to look in the mirror while fleeing the scene of a brutal murder. Certainly, the makeup job makes the once handsome Cesar look somewhat monstrous, but no one is nearly as repulsed by his looks as he is. The audience is in a position to recognize that Cesar's hideous disfigurement is an accurate reflection of the ugliness inside of him, having seen the way he's treated his best friend, Pelayo (Fele Martinez), and his erstwhile girlfriend, Nuria (Najwa Nimri of Before Night Falls). The interchangeableness of Nuria and Sofia (Penelope Cruz) in his "dream" life (if it is a dream) suggests a clear analogy for Cesar's archaic view of women, and further intimates that Cesar is subconsciously aware of, and repulsed by, his inner self. It's clear that even if he is whole physically, that ugliness will find a way to manifest itself. The film works brilliantly on this metaphorical level, but its science fiction underpinnings are not quite convincing. The ending is entertaining in a roundabout way, but its fancifulness dampens some of the movie's intriguing power. The film was not widely distributed in the U.S., but it got the attention of actor Tom Cruise, who in turn showed it to writer/director Cameron Crowe (Almost Famous), and the two collaborated on a Hollywood remake, Vanilla Sky. Cruise also produced Amenabar's first Hollywood production, The Others.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/17/2000
UPC:
0012236060734
Original Release:
1997
Rating:
R
Source:
Live / Artisan

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