The Pale Blue Eye (2022)

The Pale Blue Eye (2022)
The Pale Blue Eye (2022)

Movie Details

The Pale Blue Eye (2022)
Director: Scott Cooper
CastChristian Bale: Plays Augustus Landor
Harry Melling: Plays Cadet Edgar Allan Poe
Gillian Anderson: Plays Mrs. Julia Marquis
Lucy Boynton: Plays Lea Marquis
Charlotte Gainsbourg: Plays Patsy
Toby Jones: Plays Dr. Daniel Marquis
Harry Lawtey: Plays Cadet Artemus Marquis
Simon McBurney: Plays Captain Hitchcock
Timothy Spall: Plays Superintendent Thayer
Movie type- Mystery/Thriller
Release date- 22 December 2022
IMDB Rating-6.6
Languages- English ,Čeština, 한국어, and Norsk nynorsk.
Duration-2 Hour 8 Minutes


The Pale Blue Eye (2022)


We have a new year, in which we can expect a lot of expected titles, clear hits and inconspicuous dark horses that can surprise us. The last category also included the initially inconspicuous new Pale Blue Eye, with which Netflix kicked off its next season. And after the great atmospheric trailers, everyone was hoping that the streaming service would step into 2023 with a very dense piece and a period detective story that easily ranks among the above-average titles of the genre. But as usual with Netflix, it didn’t quite work out. Although the streaming giant’s patronage is less of an issue here.

But I’m getting a little ahead of myself and first let’s remember why the audience was initially attracted to the film in terms of the story. We go to the United States in the 19th century, when the experienced investigator Augustus Landor, who has many family tragedies behind him, is called to a terrifying case at a military academy. One of the cadets is found hanged here, and later someone cuts his heart out of his body in the morgue. The investigation then leads him to the clue that one of the students must be behind the act. That’s why he finds a young and talented ally at school, who demonstrates great intuition and a knack for solving cases – the future writer and current cadet Edgar Allan Poe. At Landor’s instigation, he infiltrates potential suspects. However, the whole case will of course start to get really complicated.

So here we have an introduction to a really nutritious period detective story with a dark atmosphere and a nice dose of doping in the form of the motives of a legendary writer. And at first it looks like we could really expect a distinctive genre film. The main plot gets off to a promising start, the creators manage to cast secrets and individual mysteries in quite a catchy way on the part of the audience, and there is absolutely nothing to complain about from a craftsmanship and visual point of view. On the contrary, the camera serves up more than one beautiful shot, and Howard Shore’s music also helps the period atmosphere a lot. But even so, the promising piece falls apart after a few tens of minutes. The main reason for this failure is, quite unsurprisingly for me, the director Scott Cooper.

I’m quite sad that the only film I haven’t seen from Cooper is the one he supposedly did best, the acclaimed western Enemies. For me, in his other cuts, the author fills the box of a complete directing routine, who gets his hands on very strong materials, but at best he can only turn them into slightly above average, in which he squanders his potential. It was the case of the gangster film Black Mass: Dirty Game, the horror film Antlers, the drama Far from the Furnace… and now Pale Blue Eye is joining this group, for which I am probably the most sorry. At the same time, Cooper has all the trump cards on his side, but he cannot work not only with the pace, which is too slow, but also with emotions and especially with the mentioned atmosphere, which in his performance is definitely not as mysterious and depressing as one would expect.

Cooper’s legs are also undermined to a great extent by his own script, which after a promising introduction disintegrates into an overly melodramatic level, in which almost nothing happens, especially in the middle, and only empty dialogue straw is beaten. Then, when there is a big conclusion and twist in the last third, the picture starts to get a little interesting again and the viewer wakes up from lethargy. However, the final twist and its outcome seem very rushed and is a typical example of how Cooper can’t work properly with emotions and give the picture the right strong point. On the other hand, you can come to the final point too soon and the script is not the smartest overall.

The director’s great advantage remains that he can always find an excellent cast for the film. And in this aspect, he succeeded to the maximum this time. In addition to the always excellent and surgically precise Bale, this time shines an increasingly better and more expressive Harry Melling, who is perfectly immersed in the role of Edgar Allan Poe and relishes his every move and passion for the case. Even in supporting roles, the casting is absolutely accurate and almost everyone plays their standard here.

Play the trailerYes, there is still much to praise about Pale Blue Eye despite my obvious disappointment. In addition to the excellent actors, we have an honest craftsmanship, a great soundtrack and certain passages perfectly fulfill the purpose of a rough period crime. But even due to the relatively tight boredom in the middle of the film, one cannot get rid of the feeling that under the baton of a more expressive and self-confident creator, the film could become a mysterious gem, the atmosphere of which will not hold the audience’s breath and the fans of the famous writer will purr with happiness. In this way, only a title with certain above-average components was created, but due to the director’s routine, this depressing environment does not leave a significant mark on a person.

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