Friday, August 7, 2009

Review: Blindness

I have this urge to write about Blindness. And I need to tell you that I have no clue whether or not this movie is any good. I feel like I have to like this movie. You have the critically acclaimed director, the critically acclaimed novel on which the movie is based and acclaimed actors like Julianne Moore and Mark Ruffalo. If I strip those things away, what's left, I think, is a flawed film with an interesting premise.

Blindness tells the story of a man (Yusuke Iseya) who suddenly turns blind. He inadvertedly infects others he comes in contact with: his wife, the eye doctor (Mark Ruffalo) and the other patients in the waiting area. Like an epidemic, blindness (or White Sickness as they call it in the film) sweeps the city. The infected are quickly quarantined. The doctor's wife (Julianne Moore) mysteriously remains immune, but pretends to be blind and joins her husband in the quarantined wards. Shit starts hitting the fan as the ward quickly becomes overpopulated. Then it's not so much about blindness anymore as it's about society going downhill.

A thought: Is society blind? Doesn't society see its going downhill?

Back to topic.. The movie started out promising, then became bleak real quick. I kept thinking throughout the movie how the story would play out. They took the easy way: have the first blind man magically regain his sight. This leads to hope that the others will regain their sight too. The end. Seriously, watching the movie you witness the most horrific things and they you get the Disney ending. I know this movie is based on a book so I can't really blame the screenplay, but I can say it cheapened the whole experience for me.

At times I felt I was watching a zombie movie without the zombies. 28 Days/Weeks Later without the infected. It made me appreciate (the symbolism of) zombie movies even more. It also made me wish I was watching a zombie movie.

The origin of the White Sickness is never explained. We never see attempts made to find a cure. I suppose we don't need an explanation. But with this ending, the sudden regain of sight, it would've been nice.

I didn't care for the cinematography. Were they trying to make me blind, because I think they almost succeeded. It seemed they filtered the hell out of the movie. It's too damn white! I get it. Blindness. White sickness. Yes yes, very clever. While it fit the bleakness of the story, it got old real quick. Certain other scenes were too dark. It came across to me as if the filmmakers were trying too hard to make an artistic movie.

The cast was great, but what do you expect with Moore, Ruffalo, Danny Glover, Alice Braga and Gael Garcia Bernal? They do their best with what they have to work with.

I could rant about Moore's character and her (lack) of actions, but I'll spare you. A 3/5.

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