Rewind: ‘Blindness’

Friday March 26th 2010


A lot of stuff we wrote before The Great Re-Design of March 09 has vanished into the ether somewhat, so we’ve decided to start re-posting some of it occasionally. You know, for kicks. Here’s a review of Blindness:

Brazilian director Fernando Meirelles [City of God, The Constant Gardener] is tired of making good films and has decided to make a bad one. Based on the novel by José Saramago, Blindness documents the impact of a sudden epidemic of instant blindness on an unnamed American city. As the ruthlessly enforced quarantine keeps the victims isolated and helpless, society’s moral and social boundaries are pushed to their limits etc. etc. etc.

It’s shocking and powerful stuff, but Meirelles’ film is also fucking stupid when it wants to be, relying on forced logic and tired social commentary for much of its impact. Would two weeks of blindness turn a randomly selected group of men into remorseless, murdering rapists? Would a blind Mark Ruffalo have an affair in the quarantined building knowing that his wife, the only sighted person amongst the victims, is in the next room? And hasn’t Gael Garcia Bernal got too much boyish charm to pass as a convincing villain?

On the other hand, it’s nice to see that Hollywood is once again reaching into the Danny Glover Compartment, even if his occasional voiceover screams ‘Poor Man’s Morgan Freeman’ so loudly that it’s hard to take him seriously.

Rent it.

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