Sight movie review & film summary (2024)

In “Sight,” Dr. Ming Wang (Terry Chen) was once a young man in China with dreams of following in his father and grandfather’s footsteps into the medical profession when an uprising during the Cultural Revolution changed the course of his family’s plans. Under pressure to leave the country after the disappearance of his first love, Lili (Sara Ye), Wang applies himself to his studies, earning top spots in universities like MIT and Harvard before creating his own practice treating eye ailments in Nashville, Tennessee. In 2007, he meets the soft-spoken Kajal (Mia SwamiNathan), a young Indian orphan in the care of nuns who travels to the US in the hopes of restoring her vision after surviving devastating abuse, and with the help of Dr. Misha Bartnovsky (Greg Kinnear), tries to help her against all odds. The film alternates between Wang’s past and then-present as he reconciles his earlier losses of love and country with his limits as a doctor. 

On reflection, “Sight” is a beat-by-beat wholesome biopic built to leave its audience feeling good and inspired by its sermon. Based on Dr. Wang’s biography, From Darkness to Sight: A Journey from Hardship to Healing, the film is a meditation on faith, loss, and accepting the things one can’t change. It’s an American immigrant story that acknowledges the trauma of fleeing to a new country and how that may follow a person throughout their life. But that idea feels secondary to its overall message of finding one’s inner light in times of darkness. 

Driven by Dr. Wang’s compelling true story, “Sight” works fine as a movie on a mission from God to share a little story of grace with its audience. Chen’s performance is sometimes uneven, but his shared scenes with Kinnear as tired coworkers with different approaches to problem-solving are some of the movie’s best moments. Ben Wang, who plays Dr. Wang before his med school days, is also effective in the role of a young man lost in a sea of unrest and early heartbreak after Lili is taken from his side. However, the script, co-written by Hyatt with John Duigan and Buzz McLaughlin, moves slowly at times, almost as if wallowing in Dr. Wang’s pain in the two timelines of his story before resolving quickly to roll credits.