Eye of the Beholder – 1999

Product DetailsEye of the Beholder – 1999
Drama – Thriller – Serial Killer

The movie, Eye of the Beholder, is a thriller based on the novel written by Marc Behm and written and directed by Stephan Elliot. It stars Ashley Judd as Joanna Eris and Ewan McGregor as Detective Steven Wilson: Code Name: Eye.

The movie starts out with a scene that sets up the type of smut assignment’s Steven a/k/a Eye encounters as a private detective for the British Consulate, Washington D.C. Internal Investigation Unit. In his next assignment, Steven is asked to follow his boss’ 22 year old son, Paul, who appears to be stealing from his trust account. The boss wants the agency to find out what his son is up to. Steven sets up surveillance cameras and follows Paul and discovers that he is involved with a beautiful woman, Ashley Judd. This is where we discover that Steven is very good at what he does; however, he is a bit off balance. He talks with and gets coaching from his imaginary daughter, Lucy, whom he lost seven years ago when his wife left him. He has never been the same.

While stalking Paul and Joanna outside Paul’s home, Steven witnesses Joanna murder Paul. He is freaked out and tries to report the incident to his agency but is discouraged to do so by Lucy. She whispers to him not to leave Joanna but help her, something she does throughout the movie. He decides not to report the murder and begins to follow Joanna everywhere. It turns out Joanna is a serial killer. Unbeknownst to her, Steven witnesses multiple murders that she commits, some of which he is inclined to clean up afterwards, to protect her. To make a long story short, he never turns her in, instead he appears to falls in love with her and he’ll do anything not to lose her. Basically, I think he thought he was her guardian angel.

Ashley Judd and Ewan McGregor both did a great job in their acting roles. By the end of the film we were left wondering who was crazier, Joanna or Steven. Overall, our main characters were even in the deranged and delusional area, which I suppose made them a perfect match.

Generally speaking, I found this dark movie very hard to follow. At its conclusion I had many unanswered questions. Did Joanna grow up to be a serial killer because she was abandoned by her father at Christmas? Did Steven think that this could be how his own daughter might grow up, because he was no longer in her life? It’s hard to say. I never got a good feel for the message; however, I searched information on the author Marc Behm and learned that the Eye actually believed that Joanna Eris was somehow his missing daughter and he tried desperately to protect her, through all of her mayhem.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/booksblog/2007/sep/21/awriterlosttotranslations

In order to give this movie a chance I watched it again and liked it better the second time around. Knowing a little bit about the plot was helpful.  Check it out and let me know what you think!

Fun Flick Finds:

1. What is the Eye’s ex-wife’s name?
2. What is the Eye’s license tag number?
3. What is the Eye’s code phrase when calling into the office?
4. What is the Eye’s zodiac sign?

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