Canadian filmmaker Kim Nguyen’s Eye on Juliet feels like a movie that had a gimmicky narrative plot device thought up first, and then a whole film subsequently built around it – and so it comes as little surprise to learn that this hackneyed romantic drama marks an underwhelming endeavour for the director, which suffers from a rather lacklustre screenplay, complete with contrived dialogue that is lacking heavily in authenticity.
Joe Cole plays Gordon, a security guard who mans the hexapod (a robot that protects American oil in North Africa) from an isolated, domestic location in the States. Having recently been broken up with by his girlfriend, he’s emotionally volatile, and this comes through in his work, as his machine stumbles across Ayusha (Lina El Arabi), who is being forced into an arranged marriage, despite naturally falling in love with somebody else. Desperately wanting to lend a hand, he uses his impressive means of technology to converse with this young woman and present a way out – but while she can’t be seen plotting with this six-legged arthropod, he also must be careful not to get caught, committing a severe crime in his quest to help this woman pursue her dreams, and escape from this suffocating environment.
Eye on Juliet is a simply absurd piece of modern cinema, and one that falls short in every area it strives to evoke an emotional reaction from the viewer. When vying for profundity, it’s accidentally funny. When striving to be romantic, it’s accidentally funny. In fact, it’s a rather unfortunate comedic endeavour, that just doesn’t work. It’s not only the dialogue too that is jarring, but the score – which seems to fight against the clumsy, indefinable tone – rather than seek to establish it. It doesn’t help too that we simply cannot comprehend Gordon’s risky actions, and his prerogative, as he puts everything on the line for a stranger. Given we’re to embody the role and root for his cause, it becomes rather challenging to do so when we cannot understand why he’s acting in this impulsive way. Okay you’ve been dumped, there’s no need to start saving women around the women using robots. Just join Tinder like everyone else.
This is emblematic of a film full up with plot holes, and one you’ll need to suspend your disbelief in to enjoy, for so many factors simply do not add up, as you’re left with far more questions that you have answers. Most of which, sadly could be simplified into just one word too; why?