Blindness (2008)


If everybody around me was naked and I could see, I’m would go naked 24/7. But then nobody would be able to see my six-pack. Never mind then.

After a plague of blindness overtakes the residents of a city, all sense of order breaks loose in the hospital where the victims are being quarantined. It’s up to a woman (Julianne Moore) who’s keeping her sight a secret to lead a group safely to the streets.

Director Fernando Meirelles (City of God) is the man who really makes this film work because he does not once let loose from keeping this film terribly bleak and just claustrophobic. There’s no real happiness in this story, except for some parts, but this film moves slowly with a very sad atmosphere that makes you feel confined with the rest of these people as well.

Meirelles never lets us out of the confined little head-quarters were in, and it started to have an effect on me because I wanted to know just what was going on in the outside world, but are questions are never really answered which kept me even a little more freaked out.

Another good element of this film is the cinematography is just beautiful and really keeps you involved with this film. The constant use of black and white really added a lot bleakness to this film and brought me into this post-apocalyptic world of just nothing being the same or simple. Everybody is blind, everybody is lost, and most of all, it’s just about every man/woman for themselves. You may actually get tricked by a lot of the visuals, which kind of added a bit more of a great feel to this film of just not knowing. It’s kind of like I Am Legend except instead of zombies, it’s just people who keep walking into things.

However, my big problem with this film is the fact that it seemed like for the longest time this film was going nowhere. There was no real drive behind this film except for a bit of a conflict that was there, but I never felt totally driven by it. I almost just felt like I knew where this was going, and no matter how it ended, I didn’t really care since it almost seemed like these character’s themselves didn’t either.

I also felt that this premise had so much more promise than what actually came of it. I mean just imagined if we were all blind, and what would we do to survive? I think this film could have been paced a lot better because even though films may be terribly dreary, sometimes they can be a tad enjoyable by the way the film moves. Blindness just moves at a very slow-pace with no real idea where it wants to go, it just wants to be dark and depressing and try to provide social commentary that was really lame.

Speaking of the social commentary, I didn’t understand what exactly this film was trying to say because either we’ve seen it all before, or it made no sense. The film looked like it was trying to say that the government won’t know what to do with an out-break, and we’ll all be left to fend for ourselves basically, which is something that has been said plenty and plenty of times before. It also seemed like it was trying to comment on the way the government treats the blind and this made no sense since blind people aren’t really made this much of fools to begin with. So wherever Meirelles was trying to get at that with, he didn’t do such a good job.

The cast here is alright as well but nothing entirely special. Julianne Moore is good as our hero, who always seems to “see” more than others (teehee); Mark Ruffalo is good and conflicted; Gael García Bernal is good as the villain/blind asshole that stirs up the pot early in the film; and Alice Braga is good as well as pretty sexy I must say. The only real bad performance here is from Danny Glover because he seems out of place in such dark material and everything he says, just seems corny.

Consensus: Blindness is beautifully shot and directed, and keeps your interest for the longest time, but the social commentary sucks, the plot doesn’t seem to go anywhere, and the pay-off is kind of disappointing considering all the promise this premise had but in the end, it was stylized.

5/10=Rental!!

12 comments

  1. I watched this movie a while ago, but never reviewed it. I didn’t mind the bit where not too much was going on, it made it feel real although it’s not something you might expect. Liked it a bit more, but can understand your thoughts on it.

  2. I disliked the film when I first saw it, though I have come to appreciate it more in the meantime. I think a lot is lost in the translation from book to screen, which is to be expected, but it’s probably the reason why the film feels vague. Reading the book fills in those gaps, and adds a lot more to the subtext that’s in it.
    I agree it was (visually) very well achieved, and has some powerful moments; but I expected a lot more out of it, too.

  3. I HATED this movie. Gang rape…not for me. A very interesting concept, with a very good director, resulted in a muddled mess.

    Enjoyed this review.

  4. I saw it and I was pretty disappointed since I loved “City of God” and liked “The Constant Gardener”. I found it to be very boring and lagging in its pacing. It felt overlong and not that engaging. It’s a pretty bad film.

    • It was a tad too long and didn’t really do much as a whole but I still admired what they were trying to do here. Too bad it just didn’t work out as well as I expected it to. Thanks Steve!

  5. Really messy movie that just never seemed to pick up much steam to me. The premise is awesome but their whole stay in captivity (basically the entire middle hour) was terribly boring to me.

  6. Liked this mostly for the Children of Men / The Road type level of doom. Definitely not the most upbeat, and was too long, but I thought it was a dramatic powerhouse. Can see why people would give it an average score though 🙂

  7. I haven’t seen this film in a while, but I agree with most of what you said. I was never able to become fully engrossed with the film as it took a lot of time for the film to gain some plot momentum. I did think the acting and technical elements were well done though. Great review!

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