As a whole, I had a real big problem with Ido Fluk’s The Ticket. On the surface, it had a lot of promise. The idea that a man suddenly regains his sight after years of being blind is a story that could have a lot of miles to it. Yes, it’s been done before. Done correctly, however, it has the ability to transform the tired “medical miracle” morality tale. The Ticket was not one of those transformative narratives.
The Ticket is presented as a fable. A man, James Harvey, has been blind since he was a child. He has a nice life with a nice house and married with a young son named Jonah. For all intents and purposes, he is happy. However, are never given enough time with James before he regains his sight to make that distinction affirmative. At a brisk 90 minute runtime, it is hard to do so.
Instead, we get a man who regains his sight and is suddenly a modern day Beast from Beauty and the Beast. With his sight, he is unsatisfied with his life, his wife, his appearance, everything. He becomes spoiled, selfish and unkind. This man is a complete asshole. The downward spiral doesn’t work the way it should because we have nothing of James’ former personality to go on. That doesn’t mean we are spared from the brutal disintegration of James’ life and the subsequent breakdown of his character.
Of course, like all fables, the hero, who regains his sight and does bad things with his new found lease on life, eventually receives his comeuppance. In this case, the impending doom can be seen as soon as James starts making eyes at a woman who definitely isn’t his wife at about twenty minutes into the film. So, the audience knows where this morality tale is heading and it heads there really quickly.
Despite that, the one good thing to come of this film is Dan Steven’s acting prowess. If this film was a little longer and a little bit better written, then there would be no doubt in my mind that this could’ve been an award’s show darling for Stevens. No seriously, the man is that good.
I have, honestly, never hated a main character in a film as much as I hated James in this film. It was all because Stevens gave this performance that I was, in the end, blown away by. This stunning performance really hits its peak in a scene where James breaks down, alone, in his bedroom. I read somewhere that Fluk set up a camera on a tripod and let Stevens go to town in a few of the scenes. I felt like this scene was one of them. We are on the outside looking in on this character and the amount of harrowing desolation that emanates from Stevens is something I was not prepared for. This is a man who fully understands his characters and is unafraid to dive into the deep end and dive into a world of unrestrained creation. The result is absolutely beautiful and heartbreaking.
Unfortunately, Stevens is the only saving grace in this film. I am, however, eager to see how Ido Fluk makes his mark on the film industry in the future.