Been building up to this one for a while, Up until a couple years ago i always said i had 3 favourite films. Memento, Donnie Darko and vanilla sky.
Vanilla sky always got a laugh.
Still, now more than ever i claim it to be one of my favourite films. This review may be biased on that grounds but i will try and keep it fare.
Vanilla sky started as a 1997 spanish film called open your eyes, by director Alejandro amenabar. Cameron Crowe was coming of the success of Almost famous and Jerry Maguire, Both of which were loved by critics. Crowe took a leap, a leap which a few people questioned. Some wonder why he did it. He remade open your eyes for the american audience.
Vanilla sky starts with an opening shot of an eye opening, which within the opening seconds sums up the themes played out in the whole movie. The film follows David Ames, The wealth son of a deceased magazine tycoon. David lives the playboy life, the house, the car, beautiful woman and total success. Then follows a series of events which leave david badly scarred and broken.
Now, normally what would follow is a film about a man finding beauty on the inside or some pish like that. In vanilla sky we don’t get this treatment, we somehow get an exploration of david’s mind coming undone. Paranoia, Self-pitty, lust, guilt, trauma with love being not a option but a chance which was blown.
The narrative the film follows is what some people describe as a “mindfuck” A riddle which offers some answers if you really look for them. I’ve heard some compare it to the matrix but i think they were a mile off. The story is told by david, at what seems like the end of his journey, still scarred and in prison for murder he doesn’t remember doing. David is quiz by a psychologist, digging into his roots to see if the answers lay in his memories, or perhaps it’s all a scheme to take control of his father’s company.
by the 3rd act the film changes gear but instead of going up a gear it goes down. Now that may sound like an insult but it ain’t, i liked it. The film tries to take a deep breath and gives you a massive explanation then leaves you thinking, what next?
This film ticked all the boxes for me. I enjoyed the acting, the soundtrack, the shots, the script was great. Trouble is, i get funny looks if i bring it up. Why is this film so polarised? could it be tom cruise? maybe it’s people who can’t understand it? Maybe it’s just me?