Gavin Hood’s invitation to assist in a military mission should be considered as a first-hand experience of our current, real and hard-hearted world. ‘Eye In The Sky’ is an insight of one of those many issues that happen every day, and very often, what people don’t want to see. It’s unbelievable to see how Hood has presented this mixture of drama and thriller about warfare with such a clean, honest and bittersweet view.
With ‘Eye In The Sky’, there has been another case in which technology becomes another protagonist: it’s so present that won’t actually be noticed. Technology has provided many possibilities to our latest films, and one of them has been to pay more attention to what are you seeing than what’s actually happening. A good example could be Nacho Vigalondo’s ‘Open Windows’: all of which was happening was seen from the multiple windows you open in a laptop. But the curious, and therefore, good thing about ‘Eye In The Sky’ is that technology has allowed actors to work in another way, highlighting even more their skills.
For some actors, like Helen Mirren and the late Alan Rickman that’s nothing; once again, as all great actors do, they live up to all expectations. Hood has created an exercise of reducing acting to expression: Mirren practically works with her face, as did Alan Rickman: whenever he’s seen, he’s just sat down paying attention to all the other windows, connecting with Helen Mirren in London, with Aaron Paul in Nevada USA and with some undercover agents in Nairobi.
Without noticing, technology introduces us to everyone and to everything. It might be a bit confusing to be forced imto pay attention to all those perspectives that everyone is offering, especially at the beginning: when it all begins in Kenya and then, out of the blue, Helen Mirren wakes up in her house in London, planning a strike.
This idea of attacking an enemy in defence of a country (or an ideology) could easily resemble to some of those Bond-style films.
Everything is shown like in real life. How many missions of this kind happen every day and we don’t even notice? That’s why it should be applauded in the capacity that Hood has had to remain ‘delicate’ at dealing with a horny issue.
And there’s no better way of doing so than showing some a little bit of humanity, which is represented here by a lovely little girl named Alia. It’s thanks to her presence that many can question the mission and what they’re about to do. Not only characters but audience as well.
Some may think that seeing soldiers captivated by a little girl playing with her hula hoop could be excessively sugary, but it results to be actually necessary in the middle of a confusing, frantic activity in which absolutely everyone is involved, something that some are unaware of. No doubt that seeing how American soldiers want to protect little Alia (played by Aisha Takow) may be a bit exaggerated, but what would this film still be the same without that sweetness?
Anyway, ‘Eye In The Sky’ proves that simplicity is the base of any good film; everyone will feel the tension and nerves of the characters, whilst some may even stay impassive, like the expression of Helen Mirren.
P.S: What a loving gesture to dedicate the film to the memory of Alan Rickman!