Evan's Eyes


In a word: Romance Novel.


Don't get me wrong; this film is beautifully shot and well acted, so some aspects are enjoyable to watch. And yet there are other things that bother me. The sort of people who will wholeheartedly enjoy this movie will are those who find the following plot elements not only plausible, but somehow appealing:

  • The main characters barely speak to each other, yet fall madly in love.
  • They indicate this ardor by continuing to barely speak to each other.
  • Fate cruelly separates them before they can specify a commitment to each other, but they forsake all others while separated.
  • They mournfully yearn for each other, even though their interaction while apart is barely different from their interaction when "together."
  • Just after the tragic couple manages to consummate their tragic relationship, he is tragically killed in a senseless act of tragic violence.
Granted, my genetics may prevent me from understanding the exquisite suffering for a distant love that one hardly knows. Or comprehending how any relationship that repeatedly involves the word "tragic" can be considered to have a satisfying ending. I never find myself thinking "Oh, that's such a beautiful love story, even though he's dead now!"

I know, tragic love stories are a literary tradition. If the writer lets the couple marry and live together, they'll make the inevitable slide from steamy, unrequited passion to the daily routine of middle-aged marriage. That's Real Life; people don't want to read about it. Eternal, Burning, True Love just doesn't look the same when reduced to squabbles over whose turn it is to milk the cow or take out the garbage.

In retrospect, the opening scene of the Battle of Petersberg parallels the whole romantic theme; Even if you blast your way through insurmountable defenses, just when you think you're going to succeed, you're slaughtered in a frantic, bloody massacre. Doesn't that just make you want to go out and date?

The main lesson I learned from this film was how much it sucked to be alive in the 1800's. The era was essentially the Middle Ages with guns. Brutal war nearly eliminated the male population, honest families suffered and starved, and lawless brigands wandered freely, often as enforcers of the "law". If you like to be reminded that Life is a series of nasty experiences, cruelly grinding hope and pleasure into the dirt, you'll definitely enjoy this film! Bring a big box of tissues.

If you liked the movies below, you'll probably like this one (and visa versa):

  • The English Patient
  • Wuthering Heights
  • Out of Africa
  • Autumn in New York
Overall Rating: 8 (where 1=Worthless, 10=Fabulous)

Eight-Facet Info Rating, rated on a scale of 0 (None) to 4 (Lots!)):

Humor: 1
Nudity: 1
Sexual Reference: 1
Sexual Activity: 1
Action: 2
Gore: 1
Violence: 2
Profanity: 1


© 2004 Evan M. Nichols