Eye of the Beholder

Unfortunately, Eye of the Beholder lacks a good story. The plot is muddled, difficult to follow and just down right poor.

In order to create a worthwhile film there must be both technical excellence and a strong plot. Unfortunately, Eye of the Beholder lacks the latter. The plot is muddled, difficult to follow and just down right poor.

What there is of a story in Eye of the Beholder concerns a British intelligence agent (Ewan McGregor) operating in America that becomes obsessed with a young woman (Ashley Judd) that just happens to be a thief and serial killer. He acts as both her guardian angel and stalker. He follows her as she travels from state to state and he collects souvenir ‘snow globes’ in each location. Adding to the confusion is the every present image of his young daughter. While not a ghost she haunts his every waking moment and interacts with him. The Eye, the code name for the agent, lost his wife and daughter when the mysteriously walked out on him some years ago. The Eye’s controller is played realistically by singer k.d. Lang. Eye of the Beholder meanders from location to location without any obvious rhyme or reason.

The actors in Eye of the Beholder are incredibly talented, not that you would know it from the script. McGregor plays his part as best he can considering the limitations. His character exhibits some depth and there is a bit of a back story but there is not enough meat in the role to display his ability. Judd’s character is extremely one-dimensional. The script also results in Ms Judd taking a lot of baths and shedding her clothes as often as possible. While Ms. Judd is a beautiful woman it would have been better to exhibit her acting ability rather than going for the cheap exploitation of her physical attributes. k.d. Lang was the real surprise. The trend in films today appears to be to stick a rock singer into the story. Here, the character did work and the acting ability of Lang shows promise for future films that actually contain a story.

Director Stephan Elliott shows great ability in his craft. The cinematography is excellent. The use of lighting, unusual cuts and fades and the framing of each scene was commendable. Best know for his cult classic Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, he certainly knows his way around a film set and editing bay. The sound track really works well in the technical perfection of Eye of the Beholder. It punches up the dismal plot and can hold your attention as it were. The sub woofer is active more than usual. It provides an almost visceral experience for the viewer. It shakes the room.

The disc is better than most DVDs out there. The 2.35:1 anamorphic transfer is without flaw. As noted above, the audio is fantastic, reference quality. There is a director’s commentary that is unwarranted in its enthusiasm. Eye of the Beholder is not the best example of the genre and is a disappointment for such a talented group of people.

Review by Doug MacLean of hometheaterinfo.com

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