Julia's Eyes (Los Ojos De Julia) (Spain, 2010)
starring: Belén Rueda, Lluís Homar, Pablo Derqui
Hellboy's Guillermo Del Toro overlooked the production of this estranged yet beautifully haunting foreign thriller, which may not actually mean anything other than just quick advertising. The practice is a gamble for our -the fans- part, as we can never really tell if this actually means it's worthy of our attention or rather just to sucker us up into buying a turd. For Julia's Eyes' case, it's thankfully more of the former, so I believe that's score one for us
Julia's Eyes follows a woman's plight for answers as her blind twin sibling was found hanged in her own basement; while the authorities ruled it out as a simple case of suicide, Julia (Belen Rueda from Del Toro's own The Orphanage) thinks otherwise and begins snooping around for some clues that might prove that her sister was actually murdered. Unfortunately for her, Julia is also suffering from the same sickness her sister had and it is slowly eating away her eye sight.
|A patient husband comforts Julia|
As the stress of her own investigation and sickness begins to blind her, Julia's determined to discover the truth before she completely lost her sight. But someone out there doesn't want her to, and they're covering their tracks by murdering anybody that got in too close to his modus.
Julia's Eyes is a overplayed yet captivating dwelling into the blind as a victim, an idea that's been played before in such other thrillers as Afraid of the Dark and cheap TV flicks like Blind Fear (1989). In comparison, Julia's Eyes come abound as more bearable from these two, but I wouldn't say it's the best in its game.
For one, running for nearly two hours, the plot took too long to get going. And once it did, it slows down right in the middle of the movie as Julia, finally blinded after the stress of seeing her own husband apparently commit suicide, rekindles her love life with her own social worker, who may or may not be our killer. If you're overly familiar with your thrillers, you could had guessed it all the way, but the film did provide enough red herrings to keep us astray. Interestingly, these two moments of plot development somehow divided this movie into two separate tones; the first is a straight face thriller with a smart and independent heroine who actually looked like as if she's gonna go somewhere, but when the disease finally took down her sight, the film suddenly shifts to a standard slasher flick down to its woman-in-peril subtext as Julia's been reduced to a desperate victims trying to survive a killer with a weird fetish, yet somehow does all the clichés a slasher victim are known to do.
But despite these problems with the film's flow and consistency in tone, Julia's Eyes is still an engaging film in the end. There's engaging photography and cinematography on this picture, and it help keep the sullen atmosphere of the film as well as add some tension and cringingly macabre moments, such as a scene involving naked blind women in a locker room (it's more disturbing than it sounds) and an awful close-up of a syringe threatened into an eye.
The killings are very few, but they're dabbed with enough savagery as the film explores the aftermath of each; you could say the drama this movie had on these deaths was really workable, as lovers and family are dying off left and right, and there's a sense of realism to these reaction thanks to Rueda's stellar performance and some really dramatic scenarios. In fact, every once in a while, there were some very warm moments that helps make some of these characters worthy of rooting for survival. Some are awfully bittersweet, but if can stick to the end, you'll see the biggest slice cheesy drama that I'm pretty would melt even the iciest of hearts. (I dare you not to shed at least a tear watching that scene. I dare you!)
|A personal fave shot from the film.|
See it if you hadn't yet. Worth every minute!
1 female hanged
1 male electrocuted in tub with a live electric lamp
1 male hanged with belt
1 female knifed to the mouth
1 male found murdered, frozen inside an ice box
1 male throat cut with knife