Analysis: “Vanilla Sky” / “Open Your Eyes”

In the film, Abre Los Ojos (Open Your Eyes), and the flashier enhanced version, Vanilla Sky, the unstated but underlying question that we hear asked is: What constitutes living? What does it mean to be alive? Our answer: “Living” is the experience of infinite Consciousness as it chases after boundless desires within temporal, sensorial realms of its construction. Temporal reality is a multidimensional construct. The human body is a construct. Dreams are constructs. Dreams-within-dreams are constructs. 

Vanilla Sky director, Cameron Crowe, said the story has “layers.” In our analysis, this includes a layer that floats above the storyline that appears to be resolved at the end. The makers of Abre Los Ojos perceived the story to be about alienation—a film to challenge the viewer’s perception of reality, their sureness about the world as normally experienced—about life through the eyes of a multiple-personality confined in a hellish asylum. Sometimes artists draw on larger truths that they may not see or fully understand. This appears to be the case with Open Your Eyes/Vanilla Sky, which comports with fundamentals of NoetiTaoist™ philosophy. To understand the film is to appreciate it as an amazing work of cinematic art. If you felt confused and annoyed after your first and second viewings, finish reading this post and watch it again. 

The story is a mystery about the “mystery of life.” It teases viewers to solve the existential mystery of their own lives. Based on critical reviews, it is obvious that some reviewers found the effort too challenging. Vanilla Sky was perceived as a muddled-genre experiment that went wrong, an “incoherent jumble,” and worse. Most mass media-sponsored critics in the USA gave it snotty reviews, which helps explain the dearth of thought-provoking American films. We applaud Cameron Crowe as well as Alejandro Amenabar (director, Abre Los Ojos) for pursuing their visions. 

Everything in Omniverse is an illusion. Omniverse itself is, altogether, the Grand Illusion (see our earlier posts). The Illusion is constructed of nine dimensions, three sets of three. The three sets are: Consciousness, Time, and Space, yet they exist as One. From the human perspective, some of it is real; the tangible world of the wide-awake self is real, but dreams are not taken to be real, and ideas are considered even less substantial or reliable—unless and until they can be brought into form. To the human self, these states, levels, or layers of consciousness are separate. However, from the perspective of the One Self they are not separate; they are degrees of dreaming, and they overlap. 

Our take on the story: César/David, a body-mind-soul entity, is “dead” and disembodied from scene one where we see him wake up after being killed instantly in the car crash that occurred on his “birthday”—birth and death are two sides of the same coin. “Death” and “rebirth” occur again in the scene where he wakes up after sleeping on the sidewalk, and again at the end. Everything in the film is either his disembodied distorted memory of events leading up to the point of the crash, or his imagined possible futures from that point. In states of consciousness that unfold, his bodiless consciousness imagines that he has survived the crash, imagines that he is later preserved cryogenically, imagines alternative and sometimes overlapping post-crash futures, and, finally, imagines he is revived from cryogenic sleep to begin “real” life anew—all illusions within Illusion. 

The car crash can be seen as a metaphor for a Big Bang creating a universe, with the driver and passenger as feminine and masculine aspects of the Creator. The Divine Feminine uses starry cornucopias to deliver Life and black-hole portals to crush it.


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6 Responses to “Analysis: “Vanilla Sky” / “Open Your Eyes””

  1. Sandi Says:

    I have not seen anyone come to this conclusion before that he is dead from the beginning of scene one. Do you have at least one piece of irrefutable evidence for this?

  2. PluribusOne™ Says:

    Yes, and here it is: At the beginning of the very first scene of Vanilla Sky, where you see David waking up as he hears the recorded wake-up message that is saying “Open your eyes,” the voice is that of Sofia, the woman he has not yet met. Except that he HAS met her, after which he was killed and is now imagining that he is waking up to the sound of her voice.

  3. Michael James Says:

    Its true, all a dream except end when he wakes up reborn into new body.

  4. PluribusOne™ Says:

    As we see it, everything in the movie depicts David’s after-death out-of-body experience: dreams within dreams, dreams overlaid upon dreams, mixed with versions of apparent memories of events and fantasized outcomes, all of which is tainted by guilt, fear, anger, paranoia, confusion, and a persistent sense of horror that fits with the way he was killed and surrounding circumstances—assuming some memories are valid.

    The viewer is given no concrete objective information about this character’s “actual” life before he died. There is no reliable basis for accepting that he was ever cryogenically preserved let alone reawakened. The only certainty is that he is dead. As David, the flesh and blood human being, he is dead from the start of act one and on through the end. Nothing in the film convinces us otherwise.

    Having said the above, in our philosophy all things are equally real across endless parallel universes of a multiversal Omniverse. All things are not only possible; all things are, even the resurrected David.

  5. alan sugar Says:

    It all reminds me of the Spanish poem by Calderón de la Barca: “La vida es sueño y los sueños, sueños son.” (Life is a dream and the dreams are dreams.)

  6. PluribusOne™ Says:


    Yes, in the highest level of conceptualizing Omniverse is the product of the Imagination of the One, endless Illusion–an infinite Dream. You might be interested in reading our posts on Omniverse.

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