Monday, October 13, 2008


 Movie name: Blindness
Year of release: 2008
Director: Fernando Meirelles
Stars: Julianne Moore, Mark Ruffalo, Alice Braga, Don McKellar, Danny Glover, Gael Garcia Bernal, Maury Chaykin, Yusuke Iseya, Yoshino Kimura, Mitchell Nye
Genre: Drama, Mystery
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 6

Synopsis:The Brazilian director Fernando Meirelles is one of the most interesting directors working these days. After the success and acclaim of "City of God" and "The Constant Gardener" he chose to tackle and adapt the Portuguese novel "Ensaio Sobre a Cegueira" from Nobel winning author Jose Saramago. The result turns out to be uneven but is nonetheless a very interesting view on how society in general and people in particular react when an event they can't control appears. The film follows the people of a city, who suddenly become afflicted with a blindness epidemic. Afraid that the disease is contagious, the government decides to place everyone afflicted in a run down hospital, with no real support or sanitary conditions. Things get progressively worse, as food is scarce and a particular ward decides to implement their rules over everyone else. The only person aware of everything is a woman, the wife of an ophthalmologist, who isn't blind and watches everything degenerate around her. The film chooses to follow the lives of a few of these inhabitants of the hospital and displays the progressive horrors that happen as the conditions worsen. It's a bleak view of humanity and proves how low and what horrors people will inflict on each other to get power (or at least the illusion of power). The actors are uniformly good, particularly Julianne Moore and Mark Ruffalo - their weary eyes show the despair and lack of belief in what humanity and life in general has become. The photography is beautiful and Fernando Meirelles' direction is, as usual, focused on detail and always inventive. Worth watching.