Open Your Eyes
("Abre Los Ojos") is a film that may give anyone who has seen Tom Cruise's Vanilla Sky
(2001) déjà vu
. Indeed, the Hollywood version is an inferior remake of this superb Spanish original. The plots of the two movies are virtually the same--Penelope Cruz even plays the same role in both--but here everything is done with rather more European subtlety and intelligence. It's also easy to see how the part of a good-looking urban playboy whose life is thrown into crisis must have appealed to Cruise, as Eduardo Noriega's star turn here seems a tailor-made template for the American superstar.
After a car accident, which leaves Noriega's character seriously disfigured, he finds himself in an almost literal nightmare charged with murder and beset by a memory so unreliable the very identity of the people around him shifts. Like the novels of Christopher Priest--particularly The Affirmation and The Glamour--this is a tale with strong science-fictional appeal, about the nature of personality, memory and identity. Powerfully written, scored and directed by Alejandro Amanabar (The Others), Open Your Eyes is a delirious, erotic and stylish thriller whose recursive ending provides its own sequel. It's the best head-trip this side of Memento and definitely not to be confused with Tom Cruise's similarly titled Eyes Wide Shut.
On the DVD: Open Your Eyes on DVD has no features of any kind, with the film presented in the original Spanish with large, easy-to-read yellow subtitles imposed directly onto the print itself and no option to turn them off. The sound is good, well-balanced stereo and the picture--presented non-anamorphically at 1.77:1--is clear, detailed and mostly lacking in grain. --Gary S Dalkin
Psychological thriller based on the novel by Philip K. Dick. Cesar (Eduardo Noriega) tries to make sense of his life after a car crash leaves his once-handsome face grotesquely disfigured. After he is placed into a psychiatric penitentiary for a murder he doesn't remember committing, Cesar's only hope is to delve into the depths of his subconscious mind where the answer to ending his living nightmare lies in his dreams. 'Vanilla Sky' is a Hollywood remake of this film.