Look Away has the feeling of a teeny-horror, the filming is good (great even) but it’s just not scary and there’s hardly any tension build up. That said, it’s not a bad movie, it’s just not very original and probably not one you’d go back to again.
Some of the scenes are very beautifully shot but sadly Look Away doesn’t really bring anything new to the table, Maria’s, India Eisley (“I Am The Night (TV)“, “Underworld Awakening”), parents, Jason Isaacs (“The Death Of Stalin“, “A Cure For Wellness“) and Mira Sorvino (“The Replacement Killers”, “Mimic”), are typically rich and rather disconnected from their child, living each in their own bubble whilst sharing a house worthy of Grand Designs. (There’s more story in there that never quite gets told).
The beautiful India Eisley acts her rather unoriginal parts well and is convincing as the delicate, nervous school-girl as much as the bitchy, sexually confident Airam. (Note, the mirrored name – original or just poor effort?)
Scenes of India Eisley getting frisky might excite many male viewers (or even female ones) eager to see a beautiful girl in full frontal nudity but whilst the caveman part of my brain thinks it’s nice to look at I’m really not convinced it was necessary to the story.
Given that Maria is supposed to be a school girl, such scenes are likely to make some viewers uncomfortable especially when they border on creepily incestuous (like when she’s almost trying to seduce her father)!
Established actor Jason Isaacs plays the part of Dan, the patronising father figure, obsessed with superficial beauty very well.
You can make up your own mind about his motivations for making Maria ‘more beautiful’ though to me there was something a little bit creepy in there. There seems to be an inner conflict within Dan as the film progresses and it’s a shame more wasn’t done with it.
The final development of Airam adds a touch of interest to the end of the film – I only wish it could have been brought forward and further developed to add some much needed depth to the rather slow middle section.
I shan’t spoil the ending except to say that the lack of conclusion will have some viewers raging at their TV’s. Personally I wasn’t so frustrated by it, though I thought, just as it ended, that for the first time in 60 minutes it had suddenly become interesting.
The social situation within the school is quite clichéd and rather too black and white to be realistic – how is it that Maria is friends with one of the most popular (and apparently richest) girls in school yet every single one of the other students hates her (or at least makes no attempt to befriend her)?
Except of course her best friends boyfriend (a huge rolling of eyes here) It was a bit lazy on behalf of Assaf Bernstein (“The Debt”) (the writer and director) to make all students quite so unpleasant – much more could have, and should have been done with them.
Some will find the lack of conclusion in Look Away frustrating, others will enjoy the revenge Airam enacts on her victims and accept the ending. Either way though the real saving grace of this film for me is the acting.
15th April 2019
THE QUICK SELL
Maria is an alienated high-school student whose life is turned upside down when she switches places with her sinister mirror image.