In Your Eyes

25 May

While this isn’t really the type of film we’d normally write about on Two Geeks, it is Joss Whedon so it’s relevant in a way.

In Your Eyes

I’d seen In Your Eyes mentioned on a few blogs. It’s a Joss Whedon-penned vimeo-streamed feature film – available for rent for 72 hours online now. He wrote and produced it but it was directed by Brin Hill. It’s an interesting move in a number of ways – it’s a jump to low-budget for Whedon and also the direct online rental aspect is a bit of a change from the traditional methods – or using big streaming services like Netflix. Having had a look around the “On Demand” section of Vimeo, I’m not seeing anything that grabs me as much or has any big names but it’s a nice idea – the site says “most of the cash goes to the maker”.

Anyway, on to the film. Merely 3 minutes in, I was sold. Two kids, miles apart, linked together by a psychic bond. Both get injured when one gets hurt – as we find out when Becky has a sledging accident and Dylan shares her experience in a crowded classroom at school.

We jump to the present day, the two kids have grown up and still haven’t worked out why they occasionally hear voices or have mystery pains. Dylan (Michael Stahl-David) has become a bit of a low-life, on parole for theft and living in a mobile home in the middle of nowhere. He’s socially awkward and completely unable to speak to women. Becky (Zoe Kazan), meanwhile, is married to a douchebag doctor (Mark Feuerstein) who treats her like a possession, and seems to be a kept woman.

They’ve continued on in life with the weird crossing over experiences but both haven’t worked out the significance until one day when their connection seems to stay open long enough for them to discover that the other person isn’t a figment of their imagination – but is actually a real person they can talk to and share their emotions.

Whedon’s awesome writing shows through pretty quickly in a scene where Dylan’s parole officer is explaining why he thinks Dylan will slip up again.

“Ain’t nothin’ in this world dumber than a smart guy. A smart man, he sees beyond his little world and it kinda whoops him so when he makes that wrong move – and you will – it gets messy”

The story goes on to set up Dylan’s choice between continuing on with a life of crime – under the watchful eye of someone whose opinion he now values above all – and Becky’s struggle with her husband’s growing suspicions that she needs to be hospitalised to treat her seemingly mental health issues.

Obviously, the characters’ weird connection appears slightly odd to anyone outside of their private world so there are some nice touches of humour dotted throughout the storyline (as you would expect from Whedon).  There are also some nice moments where the films shows the how things change when you meet that special person – Dylan devotes time to building a garden outside his trailer, and puts up fairy lights.  In one of their talks he also notices it’s snowing where she is and his excitement clearly changes her outlook from not even noticing the weather (because it’s so hum-drum for her location) to looking at it in a sort of wonder.

The acting is also superb – it’s quite a simple premise for a film, but the warmth of the characters is conveyed really well and you do find yourself caring what happens to them.  They are really fleshed out – Dylan maybe slightly more so, since we see more of his home and life, while Becky seems to live in an impersonal show-home.  This does fit with the story, however, so I can’t really fault it.

I would highly recommend renting it – I would actually quite like to buy it outright so I can watch it again and show it to other people.  That said, at $5, it’s really not breaking the bank to rent it again – and it is well worth the money if you like low-budget indie romance films.  If you’re approaching it looking for another Cabin in the Woods or Buffy, you’ll probably be disappointed but it is a really heartwarming film about love conquering boundaries.

In Your Eyes – Trailer from Bellwether Pictures on Vimeo.

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