The latest slippery and difficult-to-categorize studio films, Marc Forster's experimental romantic drama All I See Is You has all the visual style and tension of a thriller but none of the violent payouts. It defeats expectations, but it's far more arresting and captivating a romance because Forster infuses it with suspenseful urgency. I have to admire the guts of a director who portrays the dissolution of a mismatched marriage with the dread of a murder mystery.
In the first frames, Forster plunges us into a heavenly orgiastic collage of nude limbs and torsos; this is in the imagination of Gina (Blake Lively) as she makes love to her husband James (Jason Clarke). Gina lost her eyesight in a car accident as a young girl; now, even though she's got a cane, her husband guides her around their bland, modern apartment in Thailand, where James is stationed for his insurance business. Despite the sexual fantasy we witnessed earlier, these two seem as boring and traditional as milk -- well, as least James does.
Gina qualifies for a corneal transplant in her right eye, a drastic shift in the couple's lifestyle that, clearly, neither has quite thought through -- she's never even seen her husband, let alone her own adult body. There's a buzzing nervous energy under James' encouraging smiles -- she's beautiful, he's not, and she's gonna find out sooner or later. Clarke's creepy but sympathetic performance and Forster's disorienting, fast-paced storytelling that push this film toward a thriller, and the array of disillusioned, annoyed and anguished faces Lively makes are convincing enough proof that a lopsided love is colder than death.