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  Open Your Eyes What's Going On?
Year: 1997
Director: Alejandro Amenábar
Stars: Eduardo Noriega, Penélope Cruz, Chete Lera, Fele Martinez, Najwa Nimri, Gerard Barray
Genre: Drama, Science Fiction, RomanceBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 2 votes)
Review: Selfish Cesar (Eduardo Noriega) is the man with everything - he's handsome, wealthy and successful, and when he meets a pretty girl called Sofia (Penélope Cruz) at a party, it looks as if things are going to get even better. But after he accepts a lift from a woman who has been persistently following him, it all goes horribly wrong...

Alejandro Amenábar's intriguing science fiction mystery-thriller, scripted by the director and Mateo Gil, was badly remade as Cameron Crowe's Vanilla Sky, but stick with the original. It's one of those "what is real?" engimas that keeps you questioning the nature of reality, or at least, the reality of the plot.

The film is not without problems: it loses its way about halfway through when the lonely and depressed Cesar wanders aimlessly around after the tragedy that changes his life, and it plays the "and then he woke up" trick a little too frequently. But the ending, where we finally get an explanation for all the strangeness, is worth staying around for.

There are clues dotted throughout that will give you a hint as to what's really happening, and there's much emphasis on mirrors and masks and identities to add to the confusing atmosphere. There's also a theme about how good memories as well as bad tend to haunt you in troubled times, which adds a measure of poignancy. All in all, pretty impressive once it works itself out. Music by the director and Mariano Marín.

aka: Abre Los Ojos
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


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