Open Your Eyes (Abre los ojos) (Permanent Midnight) (1999)
Critic Consensus: Director Alejandro Amenábar tackles some heady issues with finesse and clarity in Open Your Eyes, a gripping exploration of existentialism and the human spirit.
In this Spanish-French-Italian co-production, a man deserts women after sleeping with them just once, a lifestyle that becomes his ultimate downfall. Finally he decides to stay with one woman, but reality and fantasy become blurred at the climax of the film.
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Critic Reviews for Open Your Eyes (Abre los ojos) (Permanent Midnight)
Even if the script (written by the director and Mateo Gil) and direction are patchy, the obsessive theme is gripping.
This is so smart, mischievous and stylish, you'll instantly want to see it again.
If you're the type who doesn't mind jigsaw puzzles unassembling themselves as you assemble them, if you enjoy enigmas and don't need explanations, the film just might work for you.
For adventurous filmgoers, though, this Spanish import offers something off the beaten path and a chance to play the coffee-shop game: Could This Screenplay Be Saved?
If Stanley Kubrick and David Lynch had collaborated on a project, the result might have been something like Open Your Eyes."
Audience Reviews for Open Your Eyes (Abre los ojos) (Permanent Midnight)
Open Your Eyes is a mischievous and confusing fantasy playing with reality. Leading and puzzling, The Hollywood remake Vanilla Sky in 2001 can only dream on imitating the subtle approach to the idea in the original Open Your Eyes. An eye-opener.
This is definately a film one should watch with the American version. Seeing Cruz act in the same script as a different character is very rare. Being able to view the same scenes done with different cinematography is also interesting. The movie is strange and sorrowful in any language.
Abre los ojos......abre los ojos.... open your eyes.....open your eyes.... This is how the movie begins...
I saw Vanilla sky first so agree that that may have spoilt somewhat the power of Abre Los Ojos, which I believe is a more fly-on-the-wall insight into the film compared to Vanilla Sky.
However, as with any foreign language film, I feel it is almost impossible to entirely "get" the sentiment/meaning of the film unless you can understand/hear it in the original language. I can speak Spanish pretty well but I was unable to pick up any particular memorable quotes, without the aid of the subtitles. (and subtitles can be very loosely translated). For example, I'm not sure "f**k buddy" and "the sweet ain't as sweet without the sour" from Vanilla sky would truly represent the intended meaning if translated to Spanish. Perfect cast for this role. And then there is Penelope Cruz. I knew that she is a great actress...but now I know that she is brilliant. She is so beautiful in this movie you want to die lol And she did a excellent job too. She played fantastic.
Overall, I thought Abre los Ojos was a more gritty and realistic version of the story. Contrastingly, I enjoyed Vanilla Sky because of the pop culture references and the soundtrack and the cheesy Hollywood moments.
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