Day #166: Blindness (2008)

Synopsis:

A mysterious blindness starts to affect people, causing those who are initially afflicted to be quarantined. As the blindness spreads, the quarantined are left to fend for themselves in an increasingly lawless world.

My take:

I think Julianne Moore is a fantastic actor. She’s had a long and illustrious career, marked by several amazing performances; and I reckon her portrayal of the Doctor’s wife in Blindness is one of them. In fact, by and large, all of the performances in this movie are pretty good.

Blindness also looks great. A bit overexposed at times, sure, but it’s got the gritty feel that a story about the devolution of society needs, while still managing to have some truly beautiful cinematography.

It’s just unfortunate that the film itself is kind of naff.

Putting aside that I hated every male character in this film bar one (with the Doctor being at the top of my list), very little about the movie’s plot makes sense. What I find most frustrating, though, is that they make out as if a man who was born blind is at an advantage compared to those who became blind, but seem to shy away from the advantages that the Doctor’s wife would have, unless she’s doing something that’s essentially domestic in nature. Bugger that!

The strength and adaptability of Julianne Moore’s character is essentially what this movie revolves around, yet the filmmakers seem to have no problem in forgetting this for the sake of raping and murdering women, because apparently that’s something that needs to happen in order to show how bad things have gotten. And, having gotten that out of the way, they were then able to move on to the next step, by – well…I won’t spoil the ending, but let’s just say that it’s a paint-by-numbers dystopian film.

I think this is ultimately what bugs me the most about Blindness: if you take away the amazing work done by Julianne Moore, who really stands out in terms of delivering a complex character study, what you’ve got is a movie that’s so devoid of logic and depth that it throws all of her hard work to the wind. To put it mildly, this is…frustrating.

At some point I want to read the novel that this movie is based on, so I can see if this is a problem with the source material or the movie adaptation. But, as far as the movie is concerned, I can’t look past its flaws for long enough – despite Moore’s performance, despite the cinematography – to recommend it. It’s not worth the disappointment.

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