Blindness (2008)

“The only thing more terrifying than blindness is being the only one who can see.”

— Doctor’s Wife

Blindness is latest offering by director Fernando Meirelles. This movie was getting a bunch of bad buzz when it was released a couple of months ago. It received a score of 45 on Metacritic. I can understand why people were turned off with this movie.

The movie is supposed to ambiguous with the setting, characters not having names, no specific questions being addressed or answered through out the course of the movie. That’s what the author Jose Saramago wanted.

The story starts with the First Blind Man (Yusuke Iseya) is stricken with the “white blindness” while he is in traffic. A Thief (Don McKellar) tries to take advantage of the newly blinded man when he drives his car home. He steals the man’s car.

First Blind Man’s Wife (Yoshino Kimura) comes home to find her husband without sight. She rushes over to the eye doctor to figure out what is causing the white blindness. He is examined by The Doctor (Mark Ruffalo) and he is sent on their way.

As the days pass, the white blindness epidemic is spreading. The newly blind people are shipped off to an abandoned hospital to help control the blindness from spreading further. The blind people there have a makeshift leader in the from of The Doctor’s Wife (Julianne Moore) who is inexplicably unaffected by the blindness.

There is symbolism and allegory of Hurricane Katrina, the Holocaust and a neglectful nursing house. The people are starving. They live under deplorable conditions with shit and piss on the floor. They strip their clothing off. There is a lot of nudity here. There are some horrible things happen in the ward when The King of Ward Three (Gael Garcia Bernal) threatens harm with a gun. Where did he get the gun? He had unlimited bullets. What? He takes the people’s jewelry for food and then sex. Treating the women like whores.

I have questions that were not solved in the movie. Why does The Man with the Black Eye Patch (Danny Glover) or the Woman with the Sunglasses (Alice Braga) continue to wear their eye wear after they are blind? What caused the blindness in the first place? What happened to the Minister of Health (Sandra Oh) went blind? She went blind and that was it. What happened to the government officials?

Nothing was explained. It think that what put people off with this film. There were a lot of plot holes and unexplained subplots that didn’t make this film great for me.

I understood what it is like from people to be desperate enough to do despicable things for food and water. When Hurricane Ike hit Houston, there was people angry about not getting enough food, water or ice. People were restless about officials telling people to stay inside, don’t venture out.

The messages of this movie should have been explained more.

My rating: ***1/2

About Branden

Branden: I am just your average movie nut that reviews films. Gives his take on pop culture and Hollywood happenings. Dreams to have his own thriving website and make a living doing what he is passionate about.

Posted on January 19, 2009, in 2008, Crime, Dark, Drama, Subversive and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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