First of all, this is not exactly a movie review but more like my random thoughts after digesting this somewhat eye-opening story.
For any of you who haven’t yet seen this brilliant movie, Vanilla Sky, or its original version, Open your eyes, the plot was summed up by the director himself (according to IMDB) as followed:
Snowboarding through life, David Aames appears to lead a charmed life. Handsome, wealthy and charismatic, the young New York City publishing executive’s freewheeling existence is enchanting, yet he seems to be missing something. Like the pointillism of an Impressionist landscape, a life can appear to be entirely different when examined close up. In one night David meets a girl of his dreams and loses her by making a small mistake. Thrust unexpectedly onto a roller-coaster ride of romance, comedy, suspicion, love, sex and dreams, David finds himself on a mind-bending search for his soul and discovers the precious, ephemeral nature of true love.
Only after I finished Vanilla Sky did I realise that it was a remake of Open your eyes which, to many of you who had seen both, was much better version.
Personally, I haven’t seen Open your eyes and have no intention to do so since folks say the two are virtually identical, not to mention Penelope Cruz in the same role in both versions.
So, I will share my opinions about Vanilla Sky as an independent movie without any comparison to the original.
Let’s first talk about the ending.
I read most of the comments on IMDB complaining how the movie had a very out of nowhere revealing act with the emergence of something completely irrelevant to what was happening — now this bit, you will have to find out yourself because I’m nice enough to not spoil it for you. I agree that it is indeed strange and I was expecting something more psychological and practical but I do not think how it ends alters the core ideas (at least according to my interpretation). In fact, the whole “dreaming”, inception-like concept is coherent and thought-provoking.
Regardless, my mind was still blown by the underlying idea represented in the movie that one small decision could change the course of your life forever like it does with the main character David.
It got me thinking about how I live my life.
1. “The little things. There is nothing bigger, isn’t it?”
David said this when he realised his life was totally ruined just because he decided to get on the car that day (Do watch the movie if you haven’t and are curious). It was a little thing. Yet, it was crucial.
Now if we take a step back and review our own life’s timeline, we will probably realise that all the significant events all started from something very little.
Those little things, the little choices we make every day — no, every minute and second — that we would nonchalantly shrug our shoulder, overlooking their impact on our life, are indeed the ones that make our life what it is.
So, you better be careful with what you choose to do on your daily basis because soon enough, it will become your life and who you are.
2. “The sweet is never as sweet without the sour.”
That’s true. I would never be able to fully appreciate the simplicity of life if I hadn’t caused so much drama when younger.
I would not know how great it feels to do the right things without all the wrongdoings.
And I would not have a sense of life if there wasn’t any ups and downs.
I’m even thankful for the fact that I come from a socially, politically and economically problematic country because such background gives me the motivations that most people in the UK don’t have. I have no choice but to learn to be strong and independent.
3. “Every passing minute is another chance to turn it all around.”
You can change your life right now. You can be whoever you want to be if you want it enough. It is never too late. That’s why I’ve decided to stop worrying unnecessarily and create some daily habits to improve myself in the long run.
I believe that I can do what other people do and I can have my life in place. Of course it doesn’t mean that I will become this boring control-freak who doesn’t have fun at all.
My motto is still “Work hard, play hard“.
Or perhaps, fuck it up a little bit occasionally because — please read 2).
4. “You were missed, David. It was Sofia who never fully recovered. It was she who somehow knew you best… and like you, she never forgot that one night where true love seemed possible.”
It was what happened to me a year and a half ago.
I had that “sure” feeling when I was star-struck by my instant crush and so was he.
It was amazing. Everything felt right.
Perhaps at some point as I learn more about the person, or under some external influence, I will realise we are not meant for each other and it’s time to let go, there is still absolutely no regret whatsoever.
I think I need that kind of intuitive certainty to be able to commit. The same rules are applied to other things in my life.
Well, still, timing is essential.
5. “What’s happiness to you?”
To which David replied, “I want to live a real life… I don’t want to dream any longer.”
What would you do if you were the god of your own world? How would you live? Who would you be? The journey or the result is more important? I’m still not very sure yet but for now, I think happiness, in its various forms, is the sweet after the sour.
So I guess, I will just be open to whatever comes next and experience life as it is.
After all, it’s just life anyway. Let’s simply get along with it. Right? And you. Try this movie and tell me what you think!