The line between dreams and reality become increasingly blurred after a womanizing playboy is nearly killed by a jilted lover in Spanish director Alejandro Amenabar's masterful sophomore effort Abre Los Ojos (Open Your Eyes). It would seem as if Cesar (Eduardo Noriega) has it all. Handsome, charming, and with money to burn, he can get any girl he wants, and usually does so on a nightly basis. Following a birthday party in which he chats up Sofia (Penelope Cruz), the date of his best friend Pelayo (Fele Martinez), Cesar is plunged headfirst into a nightmare world when jealous former lover Nuria (Najwa Nimri) swallows a handful of pills and sends her car careening into a cement wall with the terrified playboy as her hapless passenger. With his formerly strikingly handsome face now twisted into a hideous mass of scarred flesh, Cesar's ugly emotions are now externalized for all to see. Pining for a plastic-surgery miracle to return him to his former glory so that he can seek out Sofia and take a chance at real love, he is pleasantly surprised when the doctors make a breakthrough and Sofia accepts him back into her life. Although all seems perfect for the moment, the formerly soulless player finds that this is only the beginning of his increasingly disturbing journey. Why is Sofia changing appearance and turning into Nuria periodically? And why won't the police and his psychiatrist believe Cesar's desperate attempts to rationalize a world that is growing increasingly surreal? Could it have something to do with a doctor Cesar has seen on television who keeps appearing and attempting to help him out of his nightmare? Peeling away at the layers of his subconscious, Cesar begins to realize that reality is no more than a state of mind, and that in order to get his life back he may be forced to take unthinkable measures.
by Jason Buchanan synopsis