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Movie Review: ‘All I See is You’ is a Sensuous Feast Hobbled by an Inconsequential Narrative

CREDIT: Roland Neveu/Open Road Films

Starring: Blake Lively, Jason Clarke, Danny Huston, Ahna O’Reilly, Wes Chatham, Miquel Fernández

Director: Marc Forster

Running Time: 110 Minutes

Rating: R for Sex Ranging From Passionate to Frustrated to Illicit to Voyeuristic

Release Date: October 27, 2017 (Moderate)

A couple is in the throes of passion, nearing climax. The woman is blind, but that does not mean she lacks vision entirely. For her, this moment is like a kaleidoscope of rapture, the embrace between her and her husband replicated throughout her entire field of perception. It is a euphoric start for All I See is You, whose aesthetic ambitions far outstrip its narrative ones.

Gina (Blake Lively, rarely better) is the victim of an accident that stripped her of her eyesight. Her husband James (Jason Clarke) has remained a steady presence during her time of darkness. The part of her brain meant to interpret the work of her eyes is still working, so instead of pitch black, she is treated to a constant laser light show. For about the first half hour, director Marc Forster and his design team revel in the opportunities to render the subjective experience of blindness in cinematic terms. But then, her doctor (Huston) promises a procedure to restore her sight, which proves to be a liability for both the film’s creativity and Gina and James’ relationship. Despite how trustworthy his character is meant to be, it goes to show you that anyone played by Danny Huston cannot help but be ominous.

With Gina on the road to a full recovery, the film takes a swerve into a dour drama about love on the rocks, and not a very interesting one. James proves to be too prudish and unadventurous for Gina, but the real problem is his controlling nature. It was easier when he could be the steady hand when she was blind, but now he is practically useless. It does not help that they are struggling to have a baby, with James likely lashing out due to his own impotence. There is perhaps a story worth exploring here about how this relationship was kept afloat by a disability, but any conclusions drawn therein are rather vague. Besides, it feels pointless to even bother with what themes the film is trying to touch on here (something about voyeurism?) when it abandons its best feature way too quickly.

All I See is You is Recommended If You Like: Terrence Malick-ian visuals, Leaving 30 minutes after the movie starts

Grade: 2.5 out of 5 Lasers

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