The pretty girl (Blake Lively), having been blind for most of her life, gets as a chance of restoring the sight.
But how does it change her and the relationship with husband (Jason Clarke) who's been supportive so far? (Also appearing, Danny Huston, Ahna O'Reilly, Miguel Fernández, Wes Chatham et al.)
American mainstream movie industry has a habit of turning every big success story into genre, wave, or at least franchise, but curiously enough, it hasn't happened with "50 Shades".
There's something about sensual and dark side of passion that they don't just 'get', or are afraid to look closer at, so more 'intelligent' projects like "All I See Is You" may be the answer to this global sensation that "Shades" built.
I am too lazy to browse the web to research and confirm Marc Forster's intentions for making "All I See Is You" exactly... But it sure does feel like an attempt to capture the same audience - in search of sensuality coupled with 'dark' themes such as passion, commitment and the fear of it, human nature's undying symbolical need to merge into one with the loved one, etc.
That's not how the promotional materials present it, but that's how I felt during watching.
An auteur like Forster is too ambitious, of course, to be interested mostly in the sensual side. "All I See Is You" is more about the psychological side of passion and how it affects us. There are some carnal (screen) pleasures to be had, but not much.
Forster - as the director and one of the writers - has aimed for suspenseful relationship drama, and the two stars (Blake Lively, Jason Clarke) are certainly up to the challenge, both able thespians as they are.
Lively is clearly the star here, with an intriguing dual role of being one girl before and quite the new one after regaining her sight. When the life situation brings major changes, it brings out major changes in us as well, so she walks around like a constant source of mystery.
It's always interesting to see her reactions to situations and how subtly Lively can express them. There's some mysterious, child-like presence in her, which only adds to the intrigue, and becomes the movie's strongest attraction.
Unfortunately, I felt that the story never finds a sure stable footing, thus moving uncomfortably between clearly focused story and series of events which feel quite loosely connected.
The last third of the 110 minutes is actually pretty enjoyable. By then, the makers have disposed subplots going nowhere and concentrated on the main line. We can understand, if not relate to, the motifs of the characters and where they come from.
The first hour, on the other hand, feels interesting but unconvincing. It adds a constant nervous energy to both situations and characters which is never explained.
Many scenes and events go nowhere fast, then end abruptly, never to be discussed again, like a pet left on the roadside.
This pretty much rounds up the first two-thirds of the movie. Scenes start in the unexplainedly nervous atmosphere, end soon, and can't well be put in the bigger perspective because it's difficult to understand the characters motifs in the first place.
They just wince, show they're stressed or uncomfortable, and move on. Asking "What?" or "Are you OK?" all the time is not a strong technique to show a developing relationship on screen.
In real life, this kind of relationship would be totally realistic and possible, with moodiness, unexplained tension just hanging around them and all.
But this kind of not-too-artsy movie can't have luxury of being too much like the real life. We need answers, or it becomes exhausting in 10-15 minutes.
All in all... some of it works, and pretty well, but big part of the movie feels underdeveloped or overcooked. Was it sloppy writing or the material did not gel together well during post-production & editing? Who knows. Those interested will find some answers online, hopefully.
Forster's career as a "serious" director has always been a hit-and-miss affair, and for the last ten years he has mostly made concentrated on mainstream action side of things.
So it's not that surprising to see "All I See Is You" being born as hit-and-miss affair as well. It's not bad, per se, and the central story is definitely intriguing, but the result is just not satisying enough.
I am not as harsh on the result as, say, most of the critics found on Metacritic and Rotten Tomatoes, but I agree that Forster has not given his best, or had a chance to do that.
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