Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Jessica Alba at the 2008 Paris premiere for The Eye


Photo: Jessica Alba at the premiere of her film ‘The Eye’.

The Eye, a 2008 horror film starring Jessica Alba, is a remake of the 2002 Hong Kong-Thai-Singaporean film of the same name, also starring Alessandro Nivola, Parker Posey, Rade Serbedzija, Fernanda Romero, Rachel Ticotin, Chloë Moretz, and Brett A. Haworth. Alba plays the role of Sydney Wells, a successful classical violinist who has been blind since the age of five.

When Sydney Wells was about 20, a cornea transplant changes her world, and also begins experiencing terrifying visions. Gradually Sydney unravels the mystery of the visions, and tries to convince others, primarily her visual therapist, Paul Faulkner. As it strangely happens in such stories, she finds herself in Mexico, where the donated corneas originally came from.

The donor of the corneas foretold of fires and accidents (Sydney’s visions) due to an industrial accident shortly before she hanged herself because she could not stop the accident from occurring. However, Sydney puts the spirit to rest, and began her trek back home.

As Sydney and Paul wait in a queue of vehicles to cross the border, a daredevil police chase ends with the fugitive crashing through the border barriers and into a tanker full of gasoline. As Sydney is still able to still see the death silhouettes, she begins to try and get everyone she can off the highway.

But as the tanker explodes from a spark in the getaway car's engine, Sydney is blinded by flying glass splinters. After recovering at a hospital, she returns to her life as a blind violinist, but with a more optimistic view of her condition.

The above theme, in the pretext of a psychological thriller full of paranormal experiences, uses mental illnesses such as the monothematic delusion known as mirrored self-misidentification. The film’s story also exploits the concept of precognition, or premonition, and Asian beliefs about the unknown.

Interestingly, The Eye, follows a Hindi Naina (2005), starring Urmila Matondkar, Anuj Sawhney and Shweta Konnur, and unaccredited version of the original Hong Kong film, The Eye, and there was a movie titled Kokila (1990) in Telugu, which had a very similar story.

Though made on a $12 million budget, the film grossed, as of October 2008, an international gross of about $57 million, despite the negative reviews it received as it was no match to the original Hong Kong film.

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