Hidden Gems: Blindness

Blindness (Fernando Meirelles, 2008)

With Julianne Moore, Mark Ruffalo, Alice Braga, Gael Garcia Bernal and Danny Glover.

I would call this film a successful foray into crossing an art film with a more mainstream one (although its $3 million domestic box-office makes me lean more toward the former).  Let’s call it the Cyrus of apocalyptic storytelling.  There are some pretty shocking moments in this film about a sudden outbreak of blindness, including a rather vivid forced-orgy scene.  Some might argue that they are done in such to create shock-value, but I think Meirelles aimed to emulate the sense of terror and claustrophobia that must have been felt by this group of newly blind folks living in a toilet bowl of a hospital.  It worked that way for me at least.  Merirelles’s City of God is one of the finest films of the past decade, and while he may never again approach that greatness, it’s nice to know that he isn’t afraid to continue pushing the envelope.  It’s also refreshing to see an apocalyptic film that doesn’t deal with zombies, cannibals or some sort of nuclear fallout.  Blindness is a difficult watch, but I think the emotional trip it takes you on is worth it.

Rating: 8/10

RIYL: Children of Men, The Road, The Lord of the Flies

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Comments
2 Responses to “Hidden Gems: Blindness”
  1. Castor says:

    I saw this a few days ago on Starz. I was a bit frustrated because Julianne Moore’s character was passive until 3/4 into the movie. Since she can see while everyone else can’t, she could easily disarm/beat up/kill the bad guys and take care of her section but instead, she gets all the women and herself raped! Blindness was pretty solid, it certainly was a bit disturbing and slow at times but I enjoyed the beginning and ending of the film.

    • I can see where you’re coming from, but I think you are missing a few key points. Moore had every intent to kill “The King” at the first rape scene as they showed her bringing the scissors with her. King had the gun held to one of the women’s head so she couldn’t do anything about it at the time. I think that scene in particular is accurate in showing the power of a single gun and the fear it can strike into the heart of people, even if the man holding the gun is indeed blind. It is still a scary and lethal weapon.

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