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BLINDNESS (2009) * DVD Review by SEBASTIAN

Posted on April 14th, 2009
Posted on April 14th, 2009


I usually like allegory. Maybe I would like the source material that “Blindness” adapted from, but the film itself falls flat on its face. It is a nasty, illogical piece of cinema. It also manages to insult, not just its audience, but the entire community of the blind as well.

The story imagines what might happen to a society if an epidemic of blindness suddenly hit. We follow a group of infected characters as they are quarantined and subjected to various atrocities as they learn how to live with their lack of sight. The twist in the story is that one woman is not infected and retains her vision, yet she is sent to the quarantine area as well because she fakes her blindness in order to stay with her husband. She continues to keep the secret and play along even when a sadistic young man proclaims himself leader and begins to torture the others.

I read that the women in the story act powerless because the original novel was set in an area of South America where women have very little freedom of expression. That’s all well and good, but in this story it just doesn’t make sense to have a character who fails to act even though she clearly has the advantage over her enemies.

There are many other offensive lapses in logic, such as the insinuation that the blind cannot go to the bathroom by themselves or bathe themselves properly. This is just a complete insult to the intelligence of the audience, not to mention to the blind themselves.

I was expecting at least some philosophical questions and some great acting considering the superb actors involved (Julianne Moore, Danny Glover, Mark Ruffalo), but this film provided neither. The performances were flat and, while the characters were fairly well defined, the emotional follow-through was simply not present here.

Director Fernando Meirelles tries many different alienating approaches to try and make the viewer feel the loss of sight of these characters (most of them are weird camera techniques) but it all comes off as a most uncomfortable and self-indulgent art piece. Think of Andy Warhol’s celluloid endeavors. Yeah, I thought it was that bad.

In the end I think there’s just not much excuse for something like this.

1 out of 5 stars

Trailer below…

-Sebastian

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2 Comments •

Comments

  1. admin

    I like the concept. Too bad they couldn’t make anything watchable out of it.

  2. Sebastian

    Yeah. I thought the concept was very intriguing. They focus on the most boring parts though. Totally unbelievable too. Oh well.

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