In Your Eyes

Rebecca‘s and Dylan’s lives couldn’t be more different, and yet they share a unique bond that surpasses space. Both lost in their own ways, they realise that they can thrive on one another through a metaphysical relationship that couldn’t be more intimate…

in_your_eyesThis year’s most intriguing romance –

– so far, at least, and that’s even taking into account Her (although technically, of course, that’s from last year). Directed by Brin Hill and written by legendary Joss Whedon, In Your Eyes tells the story of a deeply personal bound between two people – without turning it into a sappy romance. Both are naturally weirded out by the connection that they feel – indeed, they can receive each other’s perceptions despite living many miles apart, without ever having met. And yet, this connection turns out to be the most personal, most intimate, and most reliable connection they’ve ever formed to another human being. While Rebecca’s personality crumbles under the weight of an unhappy, lonely marriage, Dylan tries to find his way back into the real world after some time in prison. Without even knowing, they’ve been with each other their whole lives – unfortunately (or maybe not?), that means there cannot be any secrets even if they tried…

Two lives collapse into one

Through their paranormal bond, Rebecca and Dylan almost become one; but their inexplicable merger means that they disconnect more and more from the ‘real’ lives that they so desperately try to cope with. Unable to share their experiences with anyone but each other, they fade away from the people in their actual surroundings, and they don’t even care. Fascinated with what’s happening to them and intrigued by becoming ‘the other’ in their friendship, they are forced to deal with themselves from an entirely different perspective, a gift everyone lacks so desperately. Seeing each other through someone else’s eyes, they finally manage to accept themselves, get to know themselves, and realise what’s really important to them in life.

“The only thing about me that I like – is you.”

I’ll admit, I’m not a romantic person, and there are very few people that I sit down and endure romances with – they’re normally reserved for girls’ nights or date nights. But In Your Eyes has many great things – good acting, an interesting concept, and beautiful visuals that manage well to set apart the two personalities and the ways they have been shaped by their environments. It’s not the kind of romance that you’d expect, although all the building blocks are there. What’s happening between Rebecca and Dylan is beyond anything physical, and they have a kind of direct access to one another that should be part of every relationship to some extent – only this time, it’s ‘real’, and problems evolve from it. But apart from being a beautiful romance without being too sappy or too feel-good, it is also incredibly funny with just the right dash of melodrama. Where would this kind of relationship lead to? We don’t know – it’s a beautiful premise, but you cannot shake off the feeling that their deep connection might one day get into the way of being actually connected. (If you’re a pessimist, that is, and I always look upon those stories with a raised eyebrow, waiting for it all to crumble.) But will they be? And will they be able to lead separate lives after all? Is it possible to just ‘hang up’? You’ll have to see for yourself – but believe me, it is quite worth your while, and while adhering somewhat to what you’d normally expect, it leads to quite the unconventional romance that you normally don’t get anywhere else – predictable to quite some extent, yes, I admit, but really, it is much more about the ‘how’ (both narratively and visually) than about the ‘what’…

In Your Eyes was self-distributed online and you can rent it on Vimeo. My suggestion? Take the evening off and go do it. It’ll make you feel good and sad, excited and subdued, and it’s a nice break from all the hectic, visually aggressive action that we are bombarded with these days.

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