“The Eyes of My Mother,” a 2016 film, marks Nicolas Pesce’s directorial debut. The story centers on Francisca, whose mother, an eye surgeon from Portugal, instills in her the belief that eyes are the windows to the soul. This eerie story is shot entirely in black and white, enhancing its creepy ambiance. Kika Magalhaes portrays Francisca, with Diane Agostini as her mother and Will Brill as Charlie. Despite its short 76-minute runtime, the film is packed with dark and gory themes that leave a lasting impact. The film opens with a disturbing scene that shows a woman, devoid of eyes and bound in chains, wandering down a road, catching the attention of a passing truck driver. This unsettling beginning sets the tone for the twisted events that follow.

The Eyes of My Mother (2016) Plot Summary & Movie Synopsis:

The movie kicks off with Francisca’s mother giving her a rather unsettling lesson on how to surgically remove eyes. She believes eyes reveal the soul. Then, we meet Charlie, who arrives at their house. Little do they know that Charlie is a serial killer. He brutally murders Francisca’s mother, leading to a horrific chain of events. Francisca and her father capture Charlie, who reveals he kills people who welcome him into their homes.

When asked why he killed her mother, Charlie, without remorse, explains that he felt at home there and her mother had welcomed him. Francisca, following her mother’s teachings, removes Charlie’s eyes and vocal cords to silence him. She believes this act steals his soul. Despite being just a young girl, Francisca takes control, turning Charlie into her captive. Over time, Charlie develops Stockholm syndrome, forming a twisted bond with Francisca. She cares for him, feeding him and keeping him imprisoned for years as her way of getting revenge.

What happened to Francisa’s father?

Years later, Francisca, now a woman, still keeps Charlie as her hostage. Recently, her father passed away, and she gave him a bath and buried him. To cope, Francisca goes to a bar and meets a girl, bringing her home. While talking, Francisca makes a dark joke about possibly killing her father, which unsettles the girl. When the girl tries to leave, Francisca kills her off-screen. After a few nights, Francisca catches Charlie trying to escape. She stops him,  cleans him up, gets close to him, and then brutally kills him. Later, she goes hitchhiking and gets a ride from Lucy, who has a baby in the car.

A still from The Eyes of My Mother (2016).
A still from The Eyes of My Mother (2016).

The Eyes of My Mother (2016) Movie Ending Explained:

Why did Francisca kidnap Lucy and her Kid?

After repeatedly insisting, Francisca stabs Lucy and kidnaps both her and the baby. She surgically removes Lucy’s eyes and vocal cords, keeping her hostage for eight years. During this time, she raises Lucy’s son as her own. When Lucy’s son sees his mother in the barn, he gets terrified. If you haven’t gathered yet, Lucy is the same woman we see at the start of the film. Eventually, Lucy escapes and contacts the police. They arrive at Francisca’s residence, and a gunshot is heard, implying that the police have taken Francisca down. So, why did Francisca kidnap Lucy and her kid? In reality, she was feeling lonely after losing her favorite “pet,” Charlie, so she kidnaps Lucy and her son to have companionship.

Thematic Analysis:

The movie is gory and disturbing right from the start. The mother teaches her daughter anatomy at a young age, which is pretty unusual. The film delves into disturbing themes of motherhood. We see Francisca’s mother being protective and losing her life while trying to protect her daughter from danger, represented by Charlie’s arrival. On the flip side, Francisca’s character embodies a different aspect of motherhood. Despite not having a child of her own, she kidnaps Lucy’s baby and Lucy herself. She keeps Lucy captive in the barn and raises Lucy’s son as her own. Francisca promises to protect the son at all costs and raises him well. However, this is driven by her fear of being alone.

Another theme in the movie is the impact of a disturbing childhood on the development of a serial killer. Francisca witnesses her mother being brutally murdered, which deeply scars her. This traumatic experience shapes her into a surgical psychopath at a young age, leading her to perform surgery on her mother’s killer when she grows up. Francisca’s childhood trauma is a significant factor in her becoming a serial killer.

The film also explores the theme of Monophobia, or the fear of being alone. After losing her mother at a young age, Francisca becomes fixated on her mother’s killer. She takes extreme measures, like removing his eyes and voice, and keeps him as a pet, displaying a twisted form of motherly care. Despite living with her father and Charlie for years, her father’s death exacerbates Francisca’s already disturbed state, triggering a killing spree.

Francisca’s downward spiral continues as she brings a girl home and kills her when she tries to escape. Later, when Charlie attempts to flee, she ends his life too. However, her actions only leave her feeling more isolated and desperate. Seeking companionship, she kidnaps a baby and its mother, Lucy. While she promises to protect the baby, her treatment of Lucy is much more sinister.

Francisca mirrors her past actions with Charlie by imprisoning Lucy, ensuring she cannot scream or escape. In her twisted logic, Francisca replaces Charlie with Lucy to fill the void left by his absence. Despite her efforts, Lucy manages to escape and contacts the police. The film concludes with a gunshot, implying that the police have killed Francisca, bringing her dark and disturbing journey to a tragic end.

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Trailer

The Eyes of My Mother (2016) Movie Links: IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, Wikipedia
Cast of The Eyes of My Mother (2016) Movie: Kika Magalhães, Will Brill, Olivia Bond
The Eyes of My Mother (2016) Movie Genre: Horror/Drama | Runtime: 1 hr. 16 min.
Where to watch The Eyes of My Mother

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