(2017) (Blake Lively, Jason Clarke) (R)
- QUICK TAKE:
- Drama: Upon regaining her eyesight via surgery, a young woman realizes her husband, their place and eventually their marriage isn't what she expected.
- Gina (BLAKE LIVELY) is a young woman living in Bangkok with her husband, James (JASON CLARKE). Unable to see due to a childhood accident that left her all but blind but didn't claim her life or that of her sister, Carla (AHNA O'REILLY), Gina is fairly dependant on James -- who she's never seen -- and teaches guitar lessons to their young neighbor, Lucy (KAITLIN OREM). Gina is also hoping to get pregnant, and when they're not busy trying to make that happen, she's excited about the prospects of surgery to be performed by Doctor Hughes (DANNY HUSTON) that might restore her sight in one eye.
That turns out to be successful, and with the daily use of steroid drops, her visions slowly but surely gets better. However, when she sets sights on James and their apartment, she feels disappointed that he and it aren't as she imagined, although she likes the handsome looks of an acquaintance and fellow dog walker, Daniel (WES CHATHAM). With her eyesight now restored, Gina becomes more independent, including when they travel to see Carla and her husband, Ramon (MIQUEL FERNANDEZ), and visit a peep show.
However, her growing independence and seeming dissatisfaction with James leaves him wondering if their relationship was better the way it used to be. As Gina's eyesight then starts to worsen, the question arises as to whether that's just a normal reaction to the surgery or if something nefarious is at play.
- OUR TAKE: 4 out of 10
- Having done a quick bit of research online, it's been reported that around thirty-six million people worldwide are blind. Some are born that way and others end up without vision due to illness, accidents and so on. I can't begin to imagine which way would be worse, but there's certainly the psychological aspect of having something taken away from you after you've already had grown accustomed to having it.
That said, those who once had vision, lost it, and then get it back - through surgery or some other means -- would certainly seem to have it better than those who've never experienced sight and then suddenly have it. After all, the brain wouldn't be ready for such sensory input and things sighted people take for granted -- identifying items simply by their shapes, colors, and textures -- would be completely foreign to those new to seeing.
And then there are those who lost their sight in their childhood and regain it as adults. Things would obviously be familiar, but there's always that aspect of the childhood brain vs. the adult one in perceiving what's seen and what it all means.
You'd think that would be part of the thrust of "All I See is You," the fictional tale of a young woman (Blake Lively) who lost her vision (and her parents) in a car accident when she was young, but has now just gotten it back. Instead, writer/director Marc Forster ("Quantum of Solace," "Finding Neverland") and co-writer Sean Conway have opted to go the "grass is always greener" route.
In their tale, their protagonist, upon regaining her sight thanks to the work of an ophthalmological surgeon (Danny Huston), realizes her husband (Jason Clarke), who she's never seen before, doesn't match what she imagined in terms of his appearance, which also holds true for their apartment in Bangkok.
That, coupled with her new ability to be completely independent of her spouse along with their inability to conceive a child eventually has her eyes wandering elsewhere from a new place to live to a possible new lover (Wes Chatham) who's hunkier than her hubbie. All of which leaves her hubby feeling less significant, ignored and even betrayed. But does that mean he might be messing with her steroid eye drops that are required to maintain her new vision, or is her worsening vision simply karma coming back around to spite her and her newfound arrogance?
By the time that question rolls around, you might not care (I certainly didn't) as things play out in such a predictable and boring way that you could be looking for the theater exit or TV remote if watching this later on at home. It doesn't help that Lively's character becomes an unlikable, unfaithful and ungrateful snob, even when considering the loss of her parents long ago.
Forster tries to keep things interesting -- at least from a visual perspective -- by portraying Gina's other heightened senses through various visual flourishes. That includes when she's in the middle of lovemaking that's portrayed by the distant aerial view of her in the middle of an orgy-like, writhing sea of men.
But that only goes so far, and overall the film seems to lose sight of what it would really mean to regain one's vision. With an increasingly unlikable protagonist and a focus on the grass is greener mentality that doesn't really go anywhere or amount to anything, "All I See is You" ends up scoring a 4 out of 10.
Reviewed October 23, 2017 / Posted October 27, 2017
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