What is this movie trying to tell me? What is the Message? Questions that went unanswered
Hi and welcome to fashion and film TV - In this video I'll be covering the 2008 movie "The Eye". Like most of my videos I'll be discussing imagery, but this time - with a twist.
To be fair, I didn't see the original, so this review only covers the 2008 American release...and without further ado, let's get into it....
Based on the 2002 Hong Kong-Singaporean horror film "The Eye" directed by the Pang Brothers, the 2008 American horror film "The Eye" is centered around the life of blind violinist Sydney Wells.
Sidney, played by Jessica Alba has been blind since the age of 5 but is well adjusted and can maneuver independently in spite of her inability to see. With encouragement from her sister Helen, - she opts in to take a chance on a second attempt for a successful corneal transplant. Based on conversations between the characters her first attempt resulted in failure due to complications.
WE MEET SYDNEY
When we first meet Sydney, she's wearing a light shade of purple, letting the audience know off the bat that there will be some spiritual implications later in the film.
Purple commonly represents royalty or wealth but is also associated with independence, spiritual awareness and the third eye - or spiritual awakening. The light shade also reflects that she is mature minded and feminine, with lavender also being called, the grown woman's pink.
At this point, we've been shown that Sydney is independent, level headed and aware of her surroundings - with an ability to have laser focus that allows her to avoid mishaps that could do her harm. There's not much to interpret yet, but based on the color of her wardrobe so far, it's already being established that this character will face some sort of interaction or conflict with a being or force that's not a part of the natural world.
After the opening scenes, we're thrown into her post-op recovery. Sydney has a short interaction with a young cancer patient that has come to visit her. ill and at the age of nine and a half, Alicia played by Chloe Grace Moretz, has managed to read Sydney's medical chart - knows what her surgery is for and invites her to visit her once she's well enough to do so.
Alicia is wearing a blue robe, and a multi colored bandana. Alicia's robe is navy which can stand for authority, intelligence or trustworthiness. The little girl does appear to display some of these qualities, but so far we don't know the dynamics of their relationship - and the impact if any that her words have on Sydney
In the next scene, we witness the bandages being removed and get a faint glimpse of Sydney's point of view - Including a mysterious figure.
Sydney is wearing gray and white. With gray being neutral and white meaning a form of purity or innocence - the movie is telling us that she is completely unaware of the events that await her - and she hasn't definitively established whether the surgery was a good decision.
It's the middle of the night and Sydney has her first negative reaction to the surgery and she follows a patient into the hallway. The patient eventually disappears into thin air and Sydney has to decipher whether this is reality. Shortly after we learn that this patient has passed away.
We are then taken to the office of Dr. Haskins, played by Obba Babatundé, giving her an eye checkup, as he checks her eyes Sydney asks "whose eyes were these?. and he responds by saying "I can't help you with that, these are your eyes now, and they're working - it shouldn't matter where they came from"....Right, right - because that's what an Actual surgeon would say. Not that it's confidential or it's against some hospital policy - no, none of that. These eyes work, now stop asking me what any normal human would ask, so I can give you the impression these were owned by a psychopath...what are you doing?
During this scene, Sydney is wearing a shirt with shades of blue and gray or slate, a blue robe and gray sweat pants.
Blues would mean that she's calm, at peace and trusting of the process. The grays would represent some form of neutrality. She doesn't have negative or positive feelings towards the surgery at this point - but she trusts that everything will turn out ok.
LEAVING THE HOSPITAL
Right before her dismissal from the hospital, Sydney visits Alicia and takes a picture with her. During this interaction, Alicia states 'I know you're scared, don't worry - the world is beautiful". Words that feel like they should be profound, but as we keep going, we learn that this is a "not so much" moment - only adding to an expectation that was never reached.
Alicia's robe has switched from navy to royal blue, but the change in shade doesn't give any further clues about her character. We will see her one more time before the end of the film, but this scene doesn't add or take away value from the storyline.
As Sydney leaves the hospital she's wearing a white blouse and a sweater in a shade of muted purple. Darker shades of purple can be tied to sadness or frustration, giving the audience another clue that Sydney is about to have some encounters that are outside of the realm of her normal existence that will cause her great distress.
Around the 30 minute mark, Sydney starts to have what she believes to be complications from the surgery and seeks help from the specialist Dr. Paul Faulkner played by Alessandro Nivola (sorry if I mispronounced that)- but as the story continues, we learn that her new found sight gives her more vision than she was prepared for.
Throughout the rest of the film, Sydney's wardrobe consists of browns, grays, blues and whites until the very last group of scenes. These colors reflect the fact that she is losing stability, unable to rely on her own reality, but she trusts the information that's given to her about what she sees. Eventually she's able to find the source of the problem and the rest of the movie plays out from there.
WHY IT DOESN'T MAKE SENSE
Normally, my reviews are Focused on symbolism and metaphors, but, that only works if the story is relatedly realistic.
Sydney has a spiritual connection with the afterlife or underworld because the donor, Ana Christina Martinez, played by Fernanda Romero, had visions and now she believes she's seeing the same visions.... By the end we find out that what she thought was Ana's visions were actually her own visions meaning that Ana's spiritual awareness was transferred via the eyes.
Does it make sense biologically? ehhhh...
Now there is a thing called Cell memory - studies have shown that recipients can take on characteristics of their donor...habits and cravings can be transferred due to the cells of the donor being imprinted or combined with the cells of the recipient. Those cells remember sensations like taste or smell and If Sydney took on characteristics of donor or even had a change in interests to match the donor - it would've been a little more plausible.
Why doesn't Sydney have characteristics of the donor in regards to her daily life. She Didn't take on new habits or obtain new cravings - from what we were shown, her daily activities, interests and tastes remained the same. Her new activities - like watching TV were based on her new sight - not on the influence from Ana.
(We didn't learn much about Ana...calling her an underdeveloped character would be an understatement)
How did she get the marks on her arm?
There's a part where Sydney's arm is scratched after a vision of a fire that did away with several people. If this was a haunting or even if it was possession, maybe this could have been explained better. Somehow her eyes allowed her to get actual injuries created by spirits she was never in contact with... Huh?
What does sight have to do with sound?
Sydney was able to hear the sounds during her visions. Did the eyes have a mouth too? - Or are they little mini time machines?
Does it make sense spiritually? ehhhh.
if it was about possession (which would be required for Sydney to get this gift via the eyes), the entity would take over her entire body causing her to do things she didn't want to do - they did attempt to show this in one scene where Ana forced Sydney to open her own eye widely - the problem is, this is the only scene where this took place. Inevitably, if possessed, she should have been automatically led to where she needed to go for answers, not needing Paul to risk his job by pulling up confidential information on the donor.
If it was supposed to be possession...
How were Sydney's eyes still possessed if the spirit of Ana was already escorted. During the film we saw these alien looking creatures that escorted people away after they perished.
In the opening scene, we saw what Ana did to herself, and we saw a glimpse of the alien looking thing with her. If this thing is an escort and Ana's spirit had already been escorted to another realm - how is the spirit still in the eyes and in contact with Sydney?
If it's not possession, maybe it's A Connection Between the two Spirts? ehhh
If the eye contained the essence of Ana - why wasn't Sydney able to recognize anyone when she goes to visit the home of the donor? She should have known right away who Ana's mother was.
She was also unable to speak Ana's native language. When Sydney and Paul, went to Mexico, I was expecting her to know the language or at the least be able to recognize some of it, instead she kept having to ask Paul what people were saying - if it was a connection between the two spirits, you would think that an understanding of languages would be one of the most basic new attributes that Sydney could pull from...not.
Now that we covered the lack of physical and spiritual continuity - let's look at plain logic
Sydney saw herself as the donor when she looked at herself in the mirror - problem is, how does a formally blind person have the residual memory of someone they've never seen?
Is there a miniature brain in the eye? Even in cases where the recipient takes on habits of the donor, they don't inherently know what their donor looks like. In cases where the recipients visits the family, pictures are exchanged and from what I've researched - seeing the face of the donor is a new experience for the recipient.
Ana's spirit was already escorted
As I stated earlier, Ana was already deceased - if she's already been escorted, how is her spirit still in the eyes?
On top of all of that - somehow the eyes knew that they would be implanted into a person that would care enough to seek out what happened to the original owner, while simultaneously knowing that the person that received them would be able to travel and get to the location in time enough to stop an accident that was going to happen in their own future...Huh Sigh...In other words the eyes were selfish - and seeking their own redemption because the people they tried to warn didn't want to listen - yes, that makes sense - wow
Now, I have to talk about how the interactions of the characters are illogical in and of themselves. I'm not putting down the performance of the actors - but the script...eh fugetabout it....
What kind of doctor says - It doesn't matter where they came from? As soon as he said this I already knew it was gonna be a mess. I get that some donors wish to remain anonymous - but why couldn't he just say that? "It's confidential, or the donor wishes to remain anonymous" - either of these would have been perfect explanations to keep from revealing the identity of the donor. To me, this was an attempt to come off as ominous - but unfortunately - attempt failed.
The specialist is rude for no reason and the relationship between him and sydney is confusing.
They act as though they're exes, but the first time they met was after her surgery - Paul had to read Sydney's file to know details of her injury - implying he didn't know her before. There are times when they treat each other like they've known one another for years - but through their interactions, we're reminded every now and then that they don't really know each other. The dynamic of the relationship comes of as disingenuous and it took me away from being able to care about these characters or their relationship.
ESCORTS TO THE OTHER REALM
I guess these things are supposed to be aliens or demons - spiritually some would say it's the same thing - but my point is why do these things have to look evil? Everyone isn't afraid of death - and if this is supposed to be spiritual, that would also imply that people are going to different places. If Sydney had a connection to the spiritual realm, you would think she would have figured this out by the time Alicia was seen with her own escort. Instead, Sydney tries to run them down in an attempt to stop what already happened.
There was a scene where a young lady walks through Sydney, showing us for the first time that Sydney could see people that were no longer breathing - this completely reminded me of the movie Ghost - with Patrick Swayze, Whoopi Goldberg and Demi Moore - I don't know if this was intentional or if they thought the majority of the audience didn't know about the movie, but ...my first thought wasn't "gasp/sigh" or "Aghast", it was "Am I watching Ghost? I thought this was the eye".
Sydney also makes the statement that they don't want to be seen - but to me That's a little goofy too - death is inevitable and you wouldn't be able to do anything to stop them, so why would they care if you saw them?
And...if they didn't want to be seen, why would one of them show up in the doctors office when she was getting her bandages removed? - No one in that room left the earth - as far as we know
I think they kinda tried to steal this the idea from The Sixth Sense - the difference is, the ghosts seemed scary at first - but they weren't actually trying to scare the boy that could see them - once he got over his own fears, he didn't see them as scary anymore and actually worked with them to help give closure to their families. a good example of supernatural done right - just saying
A POSITIVE NOTE
The movie had great potential in giving an understanding to the new reality for organ recipients - as well as a great potential to tap into what a person may see if they consider themselves a spiritual being...unfortunately potential was thwarted as it got lost in a movie that seemed to take a bundle of beliefs, sprinkled with some jump scares and served with a glass of cgi.
On a positive note, the acting was decent, the special effects were ok for the time period and I was able to stay entertained long enough to watch the movie all the way through.
If you like movies that are visually stimulating without a deeper meaning - or if you have a spare hour and some change that you're trying to get rid - this movie is currently available for free right here on YouTube.
And on that note...have an awesome day, be good to yourself and good to others. Peace.