Blindness PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Hisham Qaddoumi   
Sunday, 15 March 2009 01:22

BlindnessA Personal View

A very disturbing image you might think of when you past the first twenty minutes of this picture. A world of ugliness from both the sides: the blinds and the visionaries, both act according to the beast inside. But as soon as you realize this you will start thinking of the goodness that such image might reproduce later.

Since I was a child I always asked myself: “What could happen if we all got blind at once?” This thought might be brought to me by the fear of blindness I had as child because my most beloved grandmother got blind at a certain early age of my life and I remember how was she active when she was visionary. José Saramago may be heard my thoughts when he wrote this abnormal novel in 1995, and Fernando Meirelles also heard it when he decided to direct this picture in 2008. I believe both wanted to deliver a bigger message than the massive blindness fear that says: “May be we can see better when we are blind, because only then we can see clearly inside: inside ourselves and inside the others as well”.

The Story

The story begins when a man gets suddenly blinded while driving his car, a strange kind of blindness that let him see nothing but white, despite the fact that the normal blindness is utterly black. A stranger offers to drive him home turns to be a thief who will steal his car after he drives him home. The man’s wife come few hours later and take him to an eye doctor who decides that his eye are “perfect” and the blindness might cause by something else and might be temporary.

All of these initial characters will meet later at the medical quarantine as they will all get blind as well and the government tries to contaminate the disease before it goes wider. The only one who seems not to be blinded through the whole film is the doctor’s wife “Julianne Moore”, who claims blindness to join her husband in the quarantine. By days the quarantine gets more and more crowded. The government plan seems to fail as the disease goes mad and the minister of health herself catches it.

The Complex

The film is full of complexes more than any other film. The doctor and his wife who seem to be having a cold relationship, the Chinese man who got first blinded also have a troubled relationship with his wife, the prostitute who has no history to tell, the thief whose wife kick him out of her life, the criminals who occupy the third ward and start to rule the quarantine as gangsters, and many side complexes on the way.

I believe that the main complex of the movie was basically the strange relationships that connected all these people together, and the fact that there is only one visionary in ward one who leads her “people” through their white darkness. The other major complex the movie concentrates on is the way the visionary people treated the blinds before they get blind. The criminal inside every person, that waits a chance to unleash.

The Ending

As always I will not tell you how the movie end for you have to see it yourselves but I will tell you not to expect any type of a normal ending. The end comes with an unexpected surprise but you will never know how it goes after.

The final scenes in the movie deliver an old but refreshing message: “let’s communicate”. No matter what or who we are, we are one. And we can only reach this belief if we communicate on our very human level. Then we will discover that no matter if we are black or white, believers or atheists, sinners or saints, old or young, poor or rich, it all does not matter. We are still humans from the inside, and on that level we can still communicate.

The Making

I cannot imagine any better making for this movie than it was done; the director “Fernando Meirelles” really hit the point most creatively. The movie is full of tense and thrills, you feel the icy cold relationship between couples in the first scenes and you really feel the screen itself will freeze. You feel the shame of yourself when you see how visionaries deal with the blind and you ask yourself: “Did I treat a blind like this once, or would I even do?”

Many scenes you see nothing but full whiteness or blackness. You get angry to death these moments till you curse the director and then you realize: “Would I feel this anger if I was blind, knowing this could continue for the whole eternity?” This fact will shock you as hell. Many other scenes you see blind people naked, walking on dirt and crap and you ask yourself why are\not they even dressed decently, then you realize: “In a world that everyone would step on dirt and crap because they cannot see or have a choice, who would care if I was even dressed?”

All in all, the making of the movie was brilliant. The scenes make you frustrated, angry, sad and sometimes even happy. But every scene makes you also think. Think about what could happen and what can I do. Have a real nice time watching: “Blindness” may it open your eyes for the blessings you cannot see though you are not “Blind”.

Movie Info

Director: Fernando Meirelles
Writers: José Saramago (novel), Don McKellar (screenplay)
Release Date: 3 October 2008 (USA) more
Genre: Drama | Mystery | Romance | Thriller
Rating: Rated R for violence including sexual assaults, language and sexuality/nudity.
Runtime: 121 min
Country: Canada | Brazil | Japan
Language: English | Japanese
Color: Color
Aspect Ratio: 1.85 : 1
Sound Mix: Dolby Digital | DTS
Filming Locations: Guelph, Ontario, Canada
Company: Rhombus Media
More on IMDb

DVD Info

Actors: Maury Chaykin, Danny Glover, Julianne Moore, Don McKellar, Sandra Oh
Directors: Fernando Meirelles
Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, DVD-Video, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
Language: English
Subtitles: English, Spanish
Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Number of discs: 1
DVD Release Date: February 10, 2009
Run Time: 120 minutes
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Last Updated on Sunday, 15 March 2009 01:02

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