Sunday, February 3, 2008

Time to turn a blind eye-The Eye- movie review

I want to see the world like everyone else," the blind violinist Sydney Wells (Jessica Alba) whines at the beginning of The Eye, the latest Western deconstruction of a successful Asian horror movie. If only Ms Alba’s narration — as vapid as her acting — were the film’s only problem. Blind since the age of 5, Sydney is unprepared when a cornea transplant not only restores her sight but also allows her to see dead people. As the departed stalk her in elevators and accost her in corridors, Sydney resolves to trace the origins of her new peepers. Naturally, every step of this journey must be spelled out — twice.

The original Eye, directed by the Thai filmmakers Danny and Oxide Pang, was an insinuating ghost story that cleverly exploited cinema’s fascination with all things ocular.

But what the Pangs accomplished with little more than a talent for framing and focus, this remake (directed by David Moreau and Xavier Palud) fails to achieve, despite an arsenal of strobe lighting and crashing chords. The debt owed by both movies to The Sixth Sense and The Mothman Prophecies is only more obvious.

Louder and more literal than its inspiration, The Eye benefits from a spiky performance by Alessandro Nivola as Sydney’s rehabilitation counselor. "Your eyes are not the problem," he tells her at one point. He is so, so right.