Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Despite the fact that 'Blindness' contains some of the most disturbing, forgettable scenes I've ever seen, I was intrigued by the movie as a whole from the moment the first reel got going. All the way through it kept me guessing-and thinking-about the characters and their destinies. The title refers to an epidemic afflicted upon the residents of an anonymous city. It causes them to lose their vision (everything appears white rather than black, which I presume would make it all the more infuriating), forcing them to group together in an abandoned hospital. There are so many people that they're divided up in the wards. This new society proves to be extremely difficult. People die, everything is incredibly filthy. But only one person has to really live with it: an unnamed woman who for some reason hasn't become a victim of the virus. She's played by Julianne Moore. Rationing the meager food supplies proves difficult when one group decides to take over the hospital and demand favors in exchange for meals. Chaos of course ensues and the hospital becomes a battleground. 'Blindness' can be looked upon in an allegorical sense because the society in the hospital seems to represent countries that have gone corrupt due to anarchic dictatorship. It shows us-and does so with brutal reality-why a country falls into demise. Though it's well made, 'Blindness' has a very uncomfortable and at times aggravating look and feel to it. Director Fernando Meirelles ('City of God' 'The Constant Gardener') attempts to depict the new world of these blind people by whitewashing the majority of the images. It gives the picture a milky, filmy look. Saturating the movie with this whiteness fades what we see on screen. And that's sort of how I felt about the emotional impact of the film as well. I didn't feel close to the characters and never really understood them. But to its credit the movie made me root for these people, even if I didn't really care for them. 'Blindness,' which is based off Jose Saramago's 1995 novel, leaves us with with a sense of hope. But it doesn't really make up for how difficult the rest of the movie is. Still, I liked it for the ideas it presented, as well as the premise, which piqued my interest from the beginning.