x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

The Life Before Her Eyes

The life before her eyes manages that most difficult of balances between predictable and unclear.

AD200910711169976AR
AD200910711169976AR

Director: Vadim Perelman Starring: Uma Thurman, Evan Rachel Wood, Eva Amurri If the director Valim Perelman's goal with The Life Before Her Eyes was to present a thriller that's confusing at best and utterly dull at worst - complete with twist at the end that strikes that most difficult of balances between predictability and unclarity - then this film can be considered a success. A Columbine-esque school shooting traumatises the teenage Diana (played by Evan Rachel Wood and Uma Thurman) when she and her best friend, Maureen (Eva Amurri), are cornered in the bathroom by the shooter and forced to decide which one will die. Throughout the movie we are led to believe Maureen died, causing Diana's adult life to fall apart - but only starting on the 15th anniversary of the shooting. Perelman really puts the pathetic back into pathetic fallacy, filling the movie with plenty of dark and stormy nights, running through the pitch-dark woods and (my all-time favourite) someone recklessly cutting vegetables with a shiny, sharpened knife. Jumps between the present and past occur too frequently and with a jarring effect. Maureen is perhaps the only sympathetic character in the movie - others, both the young and old Diana in particular, are obnoxious and self-indulgent. Amurri gives a commendable performance, though it isn't nearly enough to make up for the rest of the cast.