Genre : Psychological thriller
Director : Erik Richter Strand
Platform : Netflix
Louise accidently meets a man in a bar and eventually kisses him. The next day she realizes that the man, David is her new boss. Subsequently, she bumps into David’s wife who invites her for a coffee. Soon Louise gets involved in the lives of the couple, but there are some secrets which they aren’t telling Louise. Will Louise figure out the secrets before falling into their trap?
When a thriller book is adapted, there are certain limitations with the movies. While reading the book you may not be able to visualise certain things which could make up a plot twist. However, in movie everything is on your plate, visible. Thus, the twists in the books may not work in the movie format. In Behind the Eyes the problem is that we get the essence of the twist just before the actual reveal. Other times, the audience are told the twist before Louise which doesn’t necessarily makes some of the twists shocking. For me, the twists would have worked if Louise and I were told that at the same time.
Just in the middle, the similarities between the Gone Girl and the Behind Her eyes were quite evident. Yet Behind her Eyes captured the tension and suspense better than the Gone Girl and even has more to offer.
The movie showcases bright green forests, light blue sky and sunny happy dreams along with monochromatic pale rooms, old castles and spooky corridors. This way it feels more realistic rather than just a monotonous-grey-cliched-thriller. The house of David and Adele is captured with utmost precision. Silence in their house is breath-taking shown with the slow moving camera entrapping the empty corridors, stairs and bedroom.
The husband-wife duo are one of the best parts of the story. Adele (Eve Hewson) is such a complex character which adds tons of mystery to plot itself. She is innocent, sad, lonely but at points, you hate her and couldn’t even know her intentions. Her crisp pastel costumes and bob haircut are well thought out and it feels as if she came directly from a thriller book. David (Tom Bateman) is a self-conscious person, who accepts how bad he is at communicating adding to the already present awkwardness. He has so many shades to his character which he plays with finesse. In every frame he has a different personality which increases the uncertainty of the plot.
I usually don’t prefer thrillers, especially the books, with tropes like extramarital affair and revenge. Thus, a book adaptation whose main premise revolves around extramarital affair didn’t necessarily please me. But the director Erik Richter Strand, captures this twisted story with peculiar characters, great visuals and the shocking end which no one could see coming, that you are hooked till the end.