What is the story about?
A famous violinist, Ellen Ashland, suffers the tragic loss of her eyes after an assault. She is taken to an apartment that her brother has booked for her where she is supposed to heal and learn about her new disability, or increased other abilities. Suffering from more than just sightlessness but also reeling from PTSD from her attack, she learns to slowly settle into her newfound life with her caretaker Clayton. As Clayton helps her find purpose, Ellen seems to be finding something else as well. Certain things feel displaced, amiss or strange. Her neighbours are suspicious so is the blaring siren outside her window that repeats itself every day at a certain time. Are her senses deceiving her or is her reality the deception?
Hollywood seems to love having damsels in distress kidnapped or kept captive. There is nothing new that the film seems to bring to the plate hat has been already licked and finished. The only novel thing in the plot are the characters which I guess thay had to sketch lest the movie becomes banally similar to her predecessors. With a turbulent start, the movie eases itself into the discomfort of being blind. Frames of the film are painted blue which does not have any specific meaning to it apart from the fact that it might be suggesting a tragic storyline. Owing to the protagonist’s state of being sightless, sound in the film has been made profound yet, not loud so as to overdo the part. This gives the viewer an insight into a unique POV which only the protagonist and the viewer share. Some things the film just chooses to not tell the viewer like where did the birdcage go or how did the characters reach a certain place when they were at a different place altogether making the intention of the film, that is to frustrate the viewer, very clear. A lot of words like ‘cage’, ‘captive’, ‘castle keep’, ‘bodyguard’, ‘protection’ is thrown around which essentially gives away the plot of the story and so by the end of it, you are rubbing your eyes, tired of the protagonist’s stupidity, waiting for the movie to end.
Madelaine Petsch is hesitant as Ellen. She tiptoes around her character and is not able to bring her emotions under control. She is almost robotic owing to her precautionary stature and her whole character performance seems like a dress rehearsal at best. Alexander Kotch as the charming but suspicious Clayton is best at portraying ‘the love interest’ and seems to be stuck in that performance even when bringing darker undertones to his character. The best performance, who although did not have much screen time was December Ensminger who portrays Lana in the film. She wore her emotions on her sleeve and her facial expressions were pretty on point within the boundary of the situation that she is trapped in.
Music & Other Departments
While the background score is almost non-existent, the only music that we do get to hear in bits and pieces is Ellen’s own violin symphonies which remind the viewer time and again about her prowess as a violinist.
When in certain places the movie seems slow, the viewer is given a jolt of adrenaline to wake them up. There is a witty conclusion that makes up for the drab ending but viewers have to look closely to spot it (hint: it is to do with Clayton’s hairstyle).
The audience will have no difficulty in guessing the story, even the climactic ending. Its an open book even though as a suspense thriller, it really shouldn’t be.
Did I enjoy it?
Sometimes. I enjoyed the ending before the credits rolled.
Do I recommend it?
It is at best a one time watch but its okay if you shelve this one.