Sunday, October 5, 2008
While watching Blindness I was reminded of an independent film I watched earlier this year called Noise. Both of these movies tell their story through the use of your senses. Both movies allow the viewer to experience the altered senses of the characters in the movie by use of increased exposure to one sense or another or through visual and audible cues. I find it refreshing to see writing that can incorporate these elements into the story line without the feeling that the effects are gimmicky or forced. Blindness effectively accomplishes this effect.
Blindness succeeds because the story is a study of human nature. The writing includes compelling dialogue that is believable and natural. The characters are a wide range of personalities forced together in a decrepid insane asylum. The human interaction between the various characters is a study in human nature. Movies like this have been done before. Blindness takes a new approach to this concept by equipping the characters with various abilities to change the dynamics. The characters end up in severe conflict and are required to utilize their abilities to overcome. Tough decisions and disturbing situations evolve out of this conflict leading to eventual resolution that was a bit anti-climatic. The major characters were well-developed and likable. However, some of the characters fell a bit flat and were predictable. Because of the number of characters involved in the plot, it is difficult to develop deep character traits throughout. However, it seems that a couple of characters may have had room for improvement.
The casting in Blindness was excellent. The primary bad guy in this film is played by one of my favorite lesser known actors, Gael Garcia Bernal. Bernal is a quirky actor who has popped up in several films I have seen this year including Babel and Science of Sleep. Bernal was exceptionaly cast as the main antagonist (although the blindness might also be the antogonist in this film). Julianne Moore has a personality in this film that seems warm. She has a humanitarian compassion that seems genuine. She pulls this role off without a problem as the lead character. Her male lead is played by Mark Ruffalo, her husband and eye Doctor who is exposed to the blindness disease early in the film. Ruffalo's character balks at the maternalistic patronizing of his wife following his development of the disease. This sub-plot was a little bit distracting and really didn't add anything to the movie. Near the end of the movie we get to witness the Doctor experiencing some empowerment but it felt weak to me. Moore and Ruffalo were joined by Alice Braga, Danny Glover, Don McKellar and Mitchell Nye. The rest of the cast did well in their respective roles.
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