Fueled by a dramatic performance by star Dan Stevens, “The Ticket,” directed by Ido Fluk, is an intriguing morality tale that symbolizes an individual’s inability to properly grasp an opportunity to succeed when undone by a human flaw.
In the story, co-written by Fluk and Sharon Mashihi, Stevens plays James, who is blind. The director starts the film with hazy images reflecting the lack of sight, but also beginning to open up with the phenomenon that drives the personal saga. We see light emerging as James unexpectedly begins to regain his sight.
Stevens conveys the character’s amazement and joy at his discovery that he can see. His wife, Sam (Malin Akerman), shares in the excitement. What will James do with his new-found gift? A doctor warns that the situation could retrogress, and a viewer, schooled in the ways of drama, can suspect that it will.
What emerges is how James blows his opportunity with hubris. He has been working as a blind man in a company trying to convince people to take loans. Now that he can see he arrogantly maximizes is position. He shoves aside his blind close friend Bob, played with increasing resentfulness by Oliver Platt. James acts like a hot shot and falls for the beautiful, seductive co-worker, played by Kerry Bishé. The affair leads to his wife rejecting him after she has nurtured him during his blindness, a devotion that he sees as pity.
In short, James becomes less likable with his ability to see. What he cannot see is the destructive path he is on instead of the one that his new potential might create.
The direction and screenplay combine to maximize the events, both story-wise and visually. Fluk never forgets that his film is about sight, physical and symbolical, as well as about insight. The resulting drama is sturdy and a poignant character study.
Not to be overlooked are those inviting blue eyes of Stevens, who many know from his role as Matthew Crawley in th TV series “Downton Abbey.” (He is also currently appearing in the film “Beauty and the Beast.”) Stevens is a special reason for seeing “The Ticket,” although it is a compelling drama in its own right. A Shout Factory Films release. Reviewed April 7, 2017.