movie film review | chris tookey


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  Blindness Review
Tookey's Rating
4 /10
Average Rating
3.79 /10
Doctor's wife: Julianne Moore (pictured left), Doctor: Mark Ruffalo (pictured right)
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Directed by: Fernando Meirelles
Written by: Don McKellar, based on Jose Saramago’s novel

Released: 2008
Origin: Canada/ Brazil/ Japan
Length: 122

Blindness should have been an eye-opener. It is the latest from Fernando Meirelles, director of City of God and The Constant Gardener, and it’s based on a novel by a Nobel Prizewinning author, Jose Saramago.
Reviewed by Chris Tookey

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It gets off to an arresting start as people start losing their sight in an unnamed, north American metropolis, which looks like Toronto. Among the first to suffer from the mystery infection is an opthalmologist (Mark Ruffalo, pictured right). His loyal wife (Julianne Moore, left) pretends to be blind in order to accompany him into quarantine.

It is at this point that the movie shifts from disaster movie into art-house allegory. The film gets bogged down stylistically in bleaching of images and flashes of white, which come across as arty and pretentious.

Meirelles offers an unconvincingly dark view of humanity, as most of the newly blind sink into degradation of all kinds – bullying, theft, rape, murder...

It is incomprehensible that no one in the movie seems to have any interest in the causes of the infection, or in possible cures, or in why Moore alone is immune. This is especially incredible when one of the leading characters is an expert in eye disease.

The picture ends on a note of hope, but most of it is extremely ugly, pictorially and spiritually. It’s obviously meant to be an allegory, for it’s full of symbols and metaphors instead of believable people. But I have no idea what, if anything, it is trying to say. The only underlying message I could draw is “Never, under any circumstance, trust the authorities”. In the light of the current economic crisis, of course, that may be good advice.

Key to Symbols