Thursday 19 February 2009

Blindness (the film)...

Quite possibly the most depressing and harrowing movie I've seen since Requiem For A Dream.

Both have their own visual flairs - the former at times takes on the persona of an 'end of the pier' theme park, while the latter seeks to 'white out' the frame to bewilder the viewer into getting a taste of what it's like for the protagonists, all of whom are going blind.

Kind of like Children of Men - but instead of not being able to have kids anymore, it's not being able to see ... in fact it's almost like a zombie movie, minus the living dead.

Although I'm still struggling to understand why and how on earth the government - as well as the populace - could be so stone-hearted and uncaring to simply bung a bunch of blind people, as if they were lepers, into a completely unadapted and decrepit old sanatorium to basically fend for themselves aside from occasionally getting chucked boxes of food.

It seems too far to suggest that not a single group (such as a charity, or human rights defenders) would bother about the atrocity of essentially throwing victims of a disease onto a squalid trash heap. Not a single person - in hazmat gear of course - even tries to help adapt the building to the victim's disability or anything.

It's actually quite distracting - but then you've soon got people pissing and shitting in the corridors and stepping in it, so you're too busy trying to not grimace yourself into a stupor. Throw in a fury-inducing assumption of power (essentially what you've got in places like Burma, but with a self-proclaimed "King" instead of a military junta) - which dissolves into an absolutely horrifying demand for food to be paid for with "your women".

At this point the film is at its most harrowing and downright depressing, heck - even anger-inducing. It's unfathomable.

This is all merely surface-talk however, the film really has to be seen to be believed ... for lack of a better term. At times it's endlessly sickening as the tale of 'small band of good people versus unbelievable amount of selfish, greedy, uncaring scumbags' gets into full swing. It really is quite shocking.

Towards the end you'll no doubt guess, without even trying, what the ending will be - but bloody nora is it some tough going to get there. Similar to Requiem For A Dream, Blindness is the kind of movie you'll not soon forget - but not soon re-watch either. Why would you need to with such vivid and haunting imagery imprinted on your mind, and with such strong themes swirling around your brain.

Aside from the obvious plot hole you could drive ten trucks through - i.e. why did not a single bugger even attempt to help these inflicted people? - it is a good film, and perhaps even a little bit important. Harrowing, however, would be the one word I'd choose to describe it.


Benjamin said...

It is a pet hate of mine that the difference between Speculative fiction and speculative fiction that is also considered literature seems only to depend on how depressing you can make it.

Nick Thomson said...

Perhaps if 28 Days Later or whatever, had people walking around in their own filth, it might have been nominated for an Oscar or something? hehe

Aye, it is silly isn't it - but also - it's ridiculous how The Dark Knight got so snubbed at the Oscars in general.