BLINDNESS had an intriguing concept and the trailer looked great. Unfortunately, the film ends
up becoming less and less interesting as it goes on. I could see some director like deceased Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky
tackle this and make it a very profound film. Just in the hands of director Fernando Meirelles and screenwriter Don McKellar
(adapted from the novel by Jose Saramago). The directing sometimes is excellent and yet sometimes it feels too forced like
the blur effects.
Julainne Moore is the wife of a doctor (Mark Ruffalo) who goes blind after catching the "White Sickness".
This blindness virus spreads despite the government's efforts to contain it. The blindness victims are isolated and humanity
starts to tear apart between the various wards of blind people. The Doctor's wife pretends to be blind to be with her husband.
BLINDNESS is a misfire. The only explaination it offers for the "White Sickness" is a punishment by God. We hear of no scientific
explaination except for a pad performance by Danny Glover as he tells the story about the scientific conference held to explore
the cause. The film tries to force situations like when the women volunteer to be raped to get food for the men. It is like
the blind men had no spine because they were afraid of starting a war between Ward 1 and Ward 3 (who somehow get hold of all
the food). Then the ending just is lacking. If you watch either of Tarkovsky's two sci-fi films, SOLARIS and STALKER, you
could see how someone like him could make a much more intersting take on BLINDNESS. Instead the film becomes blind as the
filmmakers seem to have lost sight of the film itself. I even watched the film again on DVD (Months after it was released
in theaters) and all of the problems I had with it still stick out while all of the nice technical touches like
cinematography, music, and sound still stand out.
Five deleted scenes feature some material that should have been in, but the director does include
written introductions to why each scene was cut. A VISION OF BLINDNESS is an excellent 55 1/2 minute making of
documentary that focuses on the production, special effects used in the film, how the director and writer obtained the rights
to the book, training the actors to act blind, and ending the thing with showing the book's author the film.
FINAL ANALYSIS: BLINDNESS is a misfire. I wish it took more risks instea dof beinga
morality tale about how little it would take for society to fall apart. The making of documentary entertained me more.
This DVD review is (C)2-5-2009 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission.
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