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Blindness Review

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R 120 min


Well, this is one of the hardest films to get a handle on in quite a while.

Sometimes a production is just so left of center, so odd that it becomes a cult favorite.

The 1995 Sci Fi novel by Jose Saramago uses the theme of societal breakdown and resurrection in the face of diversity, not dissimilar to Golding’s Lord Of The Flies.

Here the tribulation is an epidemic of sudden and complete blindness described as totally white like “swimming through milk.”

There’s no apparent medical reason and the malady is not totally contagious. Out of fear and misunderstanding the sighted population quarantines the blind into concentration camps. With food scarce and living conditions nearly unbearable humanity breaks down quickly into warring factions.

A doctor’s wife (Julianne Moore) feigns blindness in order to accompany her husband into the detention center and becomes the leader of one of the groups.

BLINDNESS is at once frightening disturbing, shocking, thought provoking and ugly, but it is also absorbing.

The parallels of human nature and modern society are hard to miss, as it the allegorical “blindness” as related to our own reaction and adaptation to the unknown and unseen.

If this seems like a grand philosophical undertaking, it really is. Still I can’t convince myself it’s met the burden of, proof in an artistic sense.

Julianne Moore is a fine actress and Mark Ruffalo has done some good work, however these roles call for constantly erratic behavior and the dialogue never flows naturally.

One can guess that the script is meant to be as edgy and offsetting as the actual cinematography, which consistently looks like a badly exposed photograph.

In many ways BLINDNESS looks a lot like SAW.

I’m assuming the novel incorporates a much greater scale than the film, which focuses on one small group of people. Maybe learning more about the sighted population and other aspects of the epidemic could make things better, but who knows, and why guess?

What there is remains an uneven though ambitious piece of work worthy of attention but just short of praiseworthy.

I’ll punt and grade it in the middle.





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