Movie and Film Reviews (MFR) Thrillers DVD Review: Blindness

DVD Review: Blindness

Based on Nobel Prize-winning writer Jose Saramago’s novel and released in October of 2008, Blindness was virtually unseen by audiences, making lousy numbers at the box office. It wasn’t a film anyone rushed out to see in theaters, and certainly isn’t a film to catch on DVD if you missed its theatrical run. Simply put, it’s the worst so-called thriller of 2008.

An epidemic of blindness is sweeping across the country and many people are experiencing what is being called “The White Sickness”. Once infected, the blind are isolated in a hospital and soon split up into groups, some of which are forcing others to pay for food in various depraved ways. Only one woman is immune to the epidemic and soon realizes that seeing happens to be just as disturbing as being blind.

Depressing and unsystematic, the film slowly goes nowhere and provides more than less interest than one would expect from such a concept as epidemic blindness. As people slowly go blind, the viewer is quickly plagued with excessive sleepiness. Blindness is a bore-fest from beginning to end without any shocks or surprises whatsoever, and the acting is below mediocre.

Loaded with pretension, a fistful of unintentional laughter, and insincere jokes towards the blind, Blindness largely fails to be even remotely thrilling, daring, or meaningful as it aspires to be. The cast provided is merely there for star power (Danny Glover and Julianne Moore shamefully do nothing exceptional) and more often than not you’re looking at a pitch black or bright white screen; it’s insanely annoying to sit through.

Blindness is unfortunately haunted by a script and director that drive its intriguing concept directly into the ground. Brazilian filmmaker Fernando Meirelles’ second American feature (the first being The Constant Gardner) seems underwritten, and confused as to where it wants to go. It’s offensive, unintelligent, ugly, overlong, and tedious.

All in all, it’s a largely brainless affair with no thrills, no style, and nothing for viewers to cling to. The visual awkwardness and off-centered camerawork is, to a great extent, distracting and irksome. It quickly becomes questionable why this was dubbed as a thriller. It’s more or less an ineffective and unintelligent apocalyptic dud. And when it ends, it ends with you pleased they didn’t add another thirty minutes to answer crucial questions.

Special features are something to look forward to when disliking a film. It sometimes helps a person appreciate the film much more. This isn’t the case with Blindness. The special features include “A Vision of Blindness,” a making of documentary that implies how much strenuous effort was put into making this appalling film (student filmmakers take notes) and five deleted scenes with written introductions by director Meirelles. The DVD is available February 10, but I strongly suggest saving your time and money. 1/5 stars

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