On the basis of its premise, the Ticket sounds like quite an upbeat film. A man miraculously regains his sight and finally gets an opportunity to participate in those incredible joys like finally getting to see his wife and son for the first time, enjoy the beautiful scenery he has been missing out on and get the opportunity to finally succeed at work.
Except only writer/director Ido Fluk’s sombre take on this idea is not that kind of movie. This film is about exploring the darker side to this story and the temptation that opens up to the character James (Dan Stevens) and how he succumbs to it and has to deal with the consequences of his decisions. It’s a smart movie and one which certainly takes a different direction from what you would expect. However, it’s one that Fluk perhaps tries to push a little too convincingly and from the outset, the film is greeted with a slow and sombre mood. Even in the early scenes, which are cleverly thought out and directed in showing the wonder James has at strangely gaining sight, lacks joy as the score, cinematography and pace keep everything in check. It’s at this point that you realise you are in for a soulless journey.
The Ticket is a film with a good idea that deserves to be explored. It’s the approach to make it a melancholic and sombre film that is its true weakness. The film keeps things depressive throughout and goes out of its way to keep the tone throughout consistent. Passages, where different emotions could’ve been explored, are given the same treatment by the director. You struggle to connect with certain elements of the film because the emotion you expect to feel from them is simply not present. The film’s score by Danny Bensi and Saunder Jurriaans is partly to blame for this as it never rouses or crescendos but rather plays out in the same style. There certainly are some nice touches by Fluk, particularly in the film’s opening and closing scenes which bring the story full circle and represent the character’s sight well. It’s in the character interactions where the film becomes a little tepid and unimaginative.
Again, that’s not to say that Fluk’s decision on the style of movie he is making is a bad one. In fact, I would argue that it is an inspired one, one that has not really been explored before. However, it could’ve done with a greater range of emotions during its running time to add some variation in what the characters are experiencing. Its bleak start only adds to the sense of inevitability when Sam starts to find another woman (Kerry Bische) more attractive than his wife (Malin Akerman) and he starts to questions her love for him as only being sympathetic.
This is a transition though that is seemingly rushed in the film. While there is a gradual introduction to the temptations that James is feeling. The point where he breaks down from resolve and wanting to fight for his marriage to succumbing to his desires to live his own life comes about quickly and you lose some connection with what the character is going through. Indeed much of the connection with the character gets lost as his motivations behind every action are not fully explored.
The highlight of this film is truly the performance by Stevens who does a stellar job in his portrayal of the character. While the film may feel monotone, Stevens brings his full range of emotions to the fore, especially as the film reaches its conclusion and the character has to come to terms with his life choices. It’s not a perfect performance and Stevens certainly falls victim to playing monotone at times, but these moments are thankfully not too long. Oliver Platt in his role as a blind man who feels betrayed by his friend’s choices also provides some suitable gravitas to his performance that lifts the film out of its emotional monotony. The rest of the cast though lacks any real chemistry and largely fits the mould of this monotonic journey that we are taken on.
It’s honestly difficult to recommend a film like The Ticket. It does offer a unique perspective, but its melancholic styling is one that is unlikely to make you want to watch it. Unless you’re looking for something depressing to watch, I would give this one a miss and pick something more entertaining instead.
Last Updated: July 27, 2017