- Movie Rating -

Eyewitness (1981)

| February 13, 1981

Sometimes I wish that I had power over the movie that I am watching, the power to cut the plot loose from the characters and just see what they would do.  Eyewitness is a movie like that.  Here is a movie with fresh characters, interesting people whose lives and personalities I think I would follow into any situation, but they’re so bound up in a plot that goes in so many directions at once, that I just want to take these people by the hand and lead them out of their circumstances and get to know them.

Eyewitness is a thriller but it doesn’t need to be.  It’s interesting enough just focusing on it’s lead; William Hurt plays Daryll Deever a night janitor who is infatuated with a beautiful television reporter, Tony Sokolow (Sigourney Weaver).  When a murder occurs in his building, she shows up to interview the tenants and Deever claims to have some information.  To her surprise, he knows nothing.  He only wanted to get her attention.  Despite how ridiculous (not to mention creepy) it all seems, she is actually kind of intrigued by him.

But then the plot gets in the way and I started to lose heart.  Sololow’s boyfriend (Christopher Plummer) gets information that someone knows something about this killer and seems much more interested in the case than in his girl’s interest in this lowly janitor.  Added to that is Deever’s run in which his slightly unhinged friend (James Woods) who goes missing for several days and then turns up only to try and kill  him.

More of the plot I cannot discuss mainly because it would require me to being a dissertation of events.  What I can say is that I did not generally care about the murder.  It is based on way too many coincidences really gets more absurd as it goes along.

What I was interested in was Hurt’s character, and unglamorous lonely guy who gets caught up in a situation that he finds becoming more and more ridiculous.  I like this character.  I like his goofy charm.  I like his way with the reporter.  And I love her reaction to him.  Who is this guy?  What is he all about?  How far is he willing to go just to meet someone that he likes.  See, I liked that stuff but I wish the movie were more about them and less about everything else.

About the Author:

Jerry Roberts is a film critic and operator of two websites, Armchair Cinema and Armchair Oscars.
(1981) View IMDB Filed in: Uncategorized