Sometimes, good fortune can be horrible. In The Ticket, a blind man inexplicably regains his sight. This good fortune soon starts to bring out the worst in him and leads him down a path of self destruction. It is a fine dramatic story featuring great actors, splendid visuals and special effects, and a cautionary parable about losing yourself to luck.
The movie opens with a glimpse into the eyes of a blind man, James (Dan Stevens; Beauty and the Beast), seeing practically nothing but hearing a bit of a conversation. Soon, “practically nothing” starts to change to scenery as James awakens to find his vision has returned, allowing the audience to (at least partially) experience his joy. Unfortunately, there is very little joy to be had in the rest of the film.
With his newfound vision, James gets overly ambitious about everything, including his job, his home, and his family. He can now literally see, but he cannot metaphorically see that his ambition is destroying his life, his friend(s), his love, and countless “clients” that his new job scams.
Initially, he’s working in a call center trying to get people to sell their house. That already makes him unlikable, but then he works toward a promotion and comes up with an idea to get to more people faster. Eventually, he does catch on to the horror he has started, but by then it may be too late.
His best friend at his job is another blind man, Bob (Oliver Platt; West Wing and countless others), who naturally gets jealous that James can see, that James was “given the ticket” and is misusing that gift; though his jealousy may not have started there.
In addition to his job, James wants to get out more in the evening. His wife, Sam (Malin Ackerman; Watchmen), sort of objects and James eventually starts going out on his own, which quickly leads to an affair. That makes three parts of his life that he messes up because he thinks he can improve them now that he is better. There is a sweet scene with his son, but besides that, James reveals himself to be a horrible person.
The title is a metaphor. Many people probably think their lives would be much better if they won the lottery or some similar jackpot; just have to get the ticket. I can only imagine that be able to see again holds a similar thought for blind people. But would your life really be better? Or, would you discover that your life was already pretty awesome? Hint: it’s probably the latter.
I think it is amusing that Dan Stevens plays a man who kinda reveals a beast inside of him since he plays the Beast in Beauty and the Beast who reveals a man inside of him. Anyway, all the actors (including Dan and his intentionally unlikable character) are superb and make this film worthwhile.