Who knew they were completely different movies? Of course Abre los Ojos (Open Your Eyes) was a million times better. Vanilla Sky was a weak suspense thriller. Open Your Eyes was a beautiful existential discussion.
First of all, it does a terrific job of questioning the meaning of reality. Mind you, this movie came out in 1997, two years before the box office blowing mind bend of The Matrix. I would not be surprised at all if the creators of the Keanu Reeves action flick got their inspiration from this film. I mean, what do we have to perceive this world around us but our five senses, which all feed to that one cerebral cortex. We understand all sensations, can feel the typing in our fingertips, taste the wine on our tongue, but really it all only exists in the brain. I once read that the reason you have tactile memories in dreams is because the sensation sensors in your brain really are firing, it is just when you dream the action sensors are disabled, keeping you from reacting. Sleepwalkers have breakdown in that area, obviously.
Secondly, this film masterfully depicts the human impulse to go to what you believe. Call it a self-fulfilling prophecy or cognitive dissonance, I see this repeated over and over again in life.
It amazes me when I watch a film, a story that only lasts two hours, and come out realizing it has captured so much of existence. That the ability of choosing how to view yourself and your life can shape not only your everyday existence, but also your entire fate.
Oh, and if that isn't enough to convince you to see this movie, there is plenty of airtime with a topless Penelope Cruz to peak your interest.
A little something for everyone, you might say.