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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » What Your Eyes Don't See (Ojos que no ven) (2000)
What Your Eyes Don't See (Ojos que no ven) (2000)
Vanguard // Unrated // March 26, 2002
List Price: $29.95 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Holly E. Ordway | posted May 4, 2002 | E-mail the Author
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You have ninety minutes to figure out... what your eyes don't see. That's the tagline for this Argentinean mystery/thriller, which starts out with a bang (literally) as we witness a mysterious and well-planned murder. The dead man turns out to be Abelardo Sachs, the owner of a well-known political magazine, raising questions whether his death was a crime of passion, a calculated business move, or a cold-blooded revenge killing.

While the initial plot thread follows the murder investigation, another major plot element shows us the consequences of that murder in the life of Clara, a writer for the magazine whose job security is derailed by the owner's death. The two threads become interrelated when Clara becomes romantically involved with the firm's lawyer... who may have suspicious involvements of his own on the wrong side of the law. The characters are reasonably well-drawn and well-acted, which is the main way in which the film engages the viewer.

But in the end, plot is where a thriller has to live or die: are there enough twists and turns to keep the movie entertaining from beginning to end, and are the plot threads tied up at the end in a convincing and interesting manner? Here is where What Your Eyes Don't See shows its weaker side. The storyline introduces several different threads that develop as the film moves along, but in the end, they're not related to each other in a satisfying way. A confrontation scene at the end appears intended to reveal all, but it still leaves some plot elements hanging high and dry.

What Your Eyes Don't See is clearly setting itself up to be a thriller in the style of Hitchcock, though it lacks the final punch necessary to pull it off. Still, the fact that it's an Argentinean film adds a certain flavor to it; at least it's a potentially different take on the police/thriller genre.

Video

What Your Eyes Don't See is presented on DVD in non-anamorphic 4:3, which appears to be its original aspect ratio. The image quality is reasonable, though nothing to write home about. Colors are a touch on the washed-out side, but they're fairly clean-looking, with natural skin tones. Contrast is not terrible, but it's not great, either: figures tend to lose detail when they're silhouetted against a brightly-lit background. There's a moderate amount of noise as well. The image looks its best in well-lit close-ups, where the picture is fairly clean and detailed; in more distant shots, there's a general lack of clarity.

The burned-in subtitles are irritating; I would really have appreciated the option of turning them off. To add to the annoyance, they're not particularly well-done subtitles, either: on more than one occasion, the subtitles "skip a beat" and several lines of dialogue pass by without subtitles; on another occasion, one character's name is substituted for another's in the subtitles, making that particular line of dialogue make no sense in the subtitled version.

Audio

What Your Eyes Don't See has a Spanish Dolby 2.0 soundtrack (though the on-the-fly audio control claims it's an English track!). A slight hiss is apparent in the background of the soundtrack at times, and while the dialogue isn't precisely muffled, it's not outstandingly clear, either. To sum up: mediocre.

Extras

The DVD includes a trailer and teaser for the film as special features.

The menu screen is dreadfully ugly, but functional. Production values for the disc should have been given more importance: the English cover blurb on the DVD case is OK, but the accompanying Spanish blurb is badly-written, with errors and missing accent marks. Considering also that the English subtitles are permanent, this is a major turn-off for potential Spanish-speaking buyers of the film.

Final thoughts

In the end, What Your Eyes Don't See doesn't quite live up to its possibilities, but it remains a modestly entertaining thriller. If you're a fan of the genre, and particularly if you also enjoy foreign movies, it's worth checking out as a rental to see if you like it.
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