From acclaimed director Fernando Meirelles comes the extraordinary intense and gritty thriller that will change your vision of the world forever. Led by a powerful all-star cast featuring Julianne Moore, Mark Ruffalo and Danny Glover, this unflinching story begins when a plague of blindness strikes and threatens all of humanity. One woman feigns the illness to share an uncertain fate in quarantine where society is breaking down as fast as their crumbling surroundings. Based on Nobel-prize winning Jose Saramago's novel - let Blindness lead you on a journey where the only thing more terrifying than being blind is being the only one who can see.
There are many things we were looking (pardon the pun) forward to in this movie. First, it’s helmed by Brazilian director Fernando Meirelles – hands up, those who didn’t love The City of God’s (2002) zipping energy? Second, it stars some of the most established stars of our times – Julianne Moore (Savage Grace, Next), Mark Ruffalo (Reservation Road, Zodiac), Danny Glover (Be Kind Rewind, Dreamgirls) and Gael Garcia Bernal (Babel, The King).
So why did it leave us with an awkward feeling that the movie is too clever for its own good after a two whole hours of watching (pardon the pun again) a group of blind people groping their way around?
Let’s just say, there are certain concepts and ideas which should stay within the pages of a book. And this movie based on Jose Saramago’s novel proves that point.
Don McKellar’s screenplay tells the story of how a mass epidermic of blindess affects everyone in the city, and how human nature turns ugly in the process. Moore plays Ruffalo’s wife who pretends to be blind amidst the dangers around her. Widespread panic, social disorder and massive hysteria engulfs the city in terrible ways unimaginable.
So we understand the whole concept of people being blind and being unable to “see” the ugly side of human nature around them. So we understand how Moore’s character is the only one who clearly sees the degradation of human nature but is helpless about it. And so we understand how things are made a little more mystifying when the city is an unnamed one, and characters are simply known as “Doctor”, “Doctor’s Wife”, “Woman with the Dark Glasses”, “Man with the Black Eye Patch”, “King of Ward Three” and brace yourself for this – “First Blind Man” and “First Blind Man’s Wife”.
Okay, so we get the idea – but in this day and age where viewers prefer their movies digestible, this may come across as a little trying. And we are not even talking about the self important conclusion yet.
But all is not that bleak (especially with a provocative theme like that), because we have other things to look (pardon our repeated attempts to use puns) forward to in this movie. The stellar performances from the cast cannot be faulted – we can only imagine the actors’ unpleasant experiences while shooting this movie. The intensities are well portrayed, and the discomfort and frustration of the blind characters translates well in the cast’s acting. The desolate and drab cinematography by Cesar Charlone (The Constant Gardener, City of God) is apt in depicting the gripping dreariness of the story.
Just don’t expect this to be a pleasant viewing experience.
SPECIAL FEATURES :
This Code 3 DVD contains no extra features.
There is nothing to complain about the disc’s visual transfer, and is presented in a Dolby Digital 2.0 audio soundtrackl.
by John Li