Abre los ojos

  • Directors:
  • Producers: Fernando Bovaira
  • Writers: Mateo Gil
  • Genres: Drama, Mystery, Romance, Sci-Fi, Thriller
  • Actors: Eduardo Noriega, Chete Lera, Najwa Nimri

From a prison cell in an unnamed city, César, a 25-year-old in a prosthetic mask, tells his story to psychiatrist Antonio. Flashbacks reveal the following events: Good-looking César is attractive to women. At his birthday party he flirts with Sofía, the girlfriend of his best friend Pelayo. The next morning, he accepts a lift from his obsessive ex-lover Nuria. She crashes the car, committing suicide, and César is horribly disfigured, beyond the help of cosmetic surgery. Sofía prefers Pelayo again.

After César’s disfigurement, he begins to have a series of disorienting experiences. Drunk, César falls asleep in the street. On awakening everything has changed: Sofía now claims to love him and the surgeons restore his lost looks. But as he makes love to Sofía one night, she apparently changes into Nuria. Horrified, César murders her, yet finds everyone else believes Nuria was indeed Sofía.

While he is confined to the prison, fragments of his past return to him as if in a dream. It is gradually revealed that, shortly after his disfigurement, César contracted with ‘Life Extension’, a company specializing in cryonics, to be cryogenically preserved and to experience extremely lucid and lifelike virtual reality dreams. Returning to their headquarters, under strict supervision by prison officers, he discovers they specialise in cryonics with a twist: “artificial perception” or the provision of a fantasy based on the past to clients who are reborn in the future. He then committed suicide and was placed in cryonic suspension. His experiences from about the midpoint of the movie onward have been a dream, spliced retroactively into his actual life and replacing his true memories. At the end of the film he elects to wake up and be resurrected. Convinced his life since the drunken night in the street is simply a nightmarish vision created by Life Extension, César leaps from the roof of the company’s high-rise headquarters, resolving to open his eyes once more to real life outside the cryonic fantasy.

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