ⓘ Eye of the Beholder (film)

Eye of the Beholder (film)

ⓘ Eye of the Beholder (film)

Eye of the Beholder is a 1999 Canadian-British-Australian mystery thriller film that employs magical realism. The film, based on Marc Behms novel of the same name and a remake of Claude Millers 1983 French thriller Deadly Circuit, is directed and adapted by Stephan Elliott.

Starring Ewan McGregor and Ashley Judd, the film is an international co-production of Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia.


1. Plot

Stephen Wilson aka "The Eye" Ewan McGregor is an intelligence agent whose current assignment is to track down the socialite son of his wealthy boss and find out what trouble he has gotten himself into. This leads him to Joanna Eris Ashley Judd, a serial killer who is in a relationship with the son, whom she murders. Stephen is a witness to the crime.

At Penn Station in Pittsburgh, Eris commits yet another murder, enabling Stephen to finally corner her as he prepares to call for backup. Instead of turning her in, Stephen follows her in an effort to save her. He hallucinates constantly that his young daughter - whom he hasnt seen since his ex-wife took custody of her - is with him, and comes to think of Eris as a vulnerable, lost child.

Stephen follows her across the country and through several murders. He soon discovers that Eris and her father were homeless and that he had abandoned her, explaining her pathological hatred of men. When Eris helps a rich blind man Patrick Bergin in an airport, the two become involved, fall in love and become engaged, and it looks like they might even live a happy life together. Stephen, who has witnessed all of this, cannot bear to let her go, and is willing to do anything to stop her from having a relationship with another man. While the couple is on the way to the chapel for the wedding, Stephen shoots out one of their tires and the car crashes, killing Eris fiance. Stephen follows a grief-stricken Eris as she takes off for the desert.

A drug addict named Gary Jason Priestley picks up Eris when her car dies, and tries to seduce her; when she rebuffs his advances, he beats her unconscious and injects her with heroin so he can rape her while she is unconscious. Stephen arrives just in time to save Eris and gives Gary a thorough beating. Eris loses her unborn baby before fleeing to Alaska, with Stephen on her trail.

In Alaska, Stephen gains the courage to ask Eris out, as he is a frequent patron of the diner at which she waitresses. They have a few drinks in the evening, both getting emotional, and Eris mentions where she would like to be buried when she dies. She then says she has nothing to offer and that he should leave her alone. The next day the police, as well as Eriss psychiatrist Genevieve Bujold, come to the diner to arrest her. Stephen tries to save her, taking her to his trailer. There she is horrified to find out that he has been following her. She shoots him with Stephens revolver, although she doesnt realize that he had loaded it with blank cartridges. She flees and he follows her on a motorcycle. He catches up to her, and she realizes he is the "Angel" who saved her time and time again. At this revelation she crashes her car. Before she dies, lying in his arms, she tells him she knows that he is her "Angel."


2. Reception

Box office

Despite opening in the United States at number-one during the Super Bowl weekend and grossing $6 million on its opening weekend, Eye of the Beholder was a financial failure in theaters, grossing $16.5 million domestically and $1.1 million internationally for a worldwide total of $17.6 million against a $35 million budget.

Critical response

The film received largely negative reviews, with critics panning the improbable and muddled plot, as well as Elliotts direction. On Rotten Tomatoes, it has an approval rating of 9% based on 87 reviews, with an average score of 3.31/10. The sites consensus simply reads: "Improbable and muddled". On Metacritic, the film has a 29/100 rating based on reviews from 26 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews". CinemaScore gave it a rating of "F" based on surveys from general audiences.