review by Carrie
Gorringe, 20 June 2003
Seattle International Film Festival
In the Chinese thriller The
Eye, a young blind woman named Mun learns the real meaning of
second sight. As soon as the bandages are removed from her eyes following a
cornea transplant, Mun notices strange apparitions floating around,
some of them extremely aggressive.
One in particular is most troubling:
a slight, elegant young man, dressed all in black, who seems
to be leading the others around in a modern update of the Grim
Reaper; every time he
appears, Mun soon learns, it means that someone has just died.
In addition, the furniture in her room changes appearance
without warning, as if a demented set designer had the ability to
change her world at will. Alarmed
by these visions, Mun goes to her psychotherapist for help in
understanding them. Conveniently,
her therapist is also the nephew of the doctor who performed her
implants. Will the
doctor be able or willing to violate the confidentiality of the
donor's identity in order to provide Mun with the answers she seeks?
It doesn't help matters much that no one really wants to
believe what she is seeing, and with good reason:
in Chinese culture (as in Western culture), there is a fear
of someone who has not died a so-called "good death";
their spirits (called "hungry ghosts")
are presumed to have unfinished business and will haunt
and/or threaten the living until someone helps them deal with these
Danny and Oxide Pang manage to keep the mix of the everyday and the
fantastic in nimble play up to the film's end.
Just when you think everything has settled into a familiar
routine, the Pangs shake things up in an inferno of a finale.
The film doesn't have a completely satisfying ending;
the coda soft-pedals its final moments somewhat
ineffectually, but the chills they've provided beforehand are more
than sufficient consolation. You
may want to watch your back the next time you go for a long ride on
an escalator. Moreover,
since Tom Cruise's company has snapped up the remake rights, you
might want to familiarize yourself with the original.
Seattle International Film Festival:
Oxide Pang Chun
Yut Lai So
Yin Ping Ko
Jo Jo Yuet-chun Hui
Oxide Pang Chun
NR - Not Rated.
This film has not