Monday, October 13, 2008


Fernando Meirelles, that brilliant mind behind City of God and The Constant Gardner has created a film designed as a new concept, but really just a rehash for something old.

In Blindness, an infectious plague sweeps an (unnamed) city. Citizens become blind for no logical or scientific reason. Soon they are transported to “holding places” which are more like mini-Nazi prison camps. The people being detained against their will, start to go mad. Chaos ensures and there is no real justice, just trigger-happy guards waiting for someone to venture off.

Sounds original, but what Blindness really becomes is a zombie knockoff. The people are infected, they question what’s happening, the walk around in a daze and after a while, they start killing each other.

Julianne Moore is the only one who can see (this, like many things in the film, are never explained), so she becomes a guide for everyone else. The acting is convincing, especially from Moore, Mark Ruffalo and Gael Garcia Bernal (an excellent monster of a man). The cinematography is incredible, dipping in and out of focus or cutting to a blank screen whenever it wants.

Now I want to pose a question: can a film be dubbed as awful due to one scene? Or, on the flip side, can a film be labeled as great because of one impeccable sequence?

Blindness is pretty enjoyable. Despite its flaws I was interested the whole time. Until a scene that simply repulsed me. Much like Miracle at St. Anna (but far worse here) there is a scene in this film that is so poorly executed and so blatantly unnecessary that it sickened me. The fact that the scene could’ve easily been edited out only makes matters worse. The point would’ve been clear and effective had it been editing around. But instead were left with a torturously long sequence that I don’t even want to describe.

Call me crazy, or call me picky, but there are some very talented filmmakers out there who have lost sight of when enough is enough. C-

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