I’ve only seen the 2008 film “Blindness” one time. That’s because you’d have to put me through some kind of sadistic al-Qaeda interrogation type of forced viewing party to get me to watch it again. I should have considered the movie poster(on left) as a subconscious warning that viewing this film would be an analogous experience to what Alex had to endure in “A Clockwork Orange”.
It’s been about four years now, but this film still resonates with me. Not because I fondly remember it, but because it was the movie equivalent of being sodomized by a gang of bonobo monkeys. You can’t easily forget that kind of hurt. It was both mentally and (literally)physically painful to get through. Only using hypnosis with a trained psychologist to draw out my blocked memories, do I begin to begrudgingly recall being overwhelmed by a bombardment of ear-piercing noises in the opening scenes of the film. The concept was to give the viewer an idea of what it might be like to experience blindness. The brilliant method by which the filmmakers chose to accomplish this feat was via sonically torturing the shit out of you. The screen is blacked out, so your other senses(in this case, hearing) can now become “enhanced”. They crank up the volume using strident noises like car horns and people screaming and yelling. There is also some kind of high-pitched, tinnitus-inducing, human dog whistle sound blasting the audience at random. This all wouldn’t have been so bad, had I watched this anywhere outside of a theater and had some control over the volume. But, of course, I had full fucking THX/Dolby/SurroundSound/ massive decibel levels pounding my eardrums, as I sat right next to the speakers in the aisle seat.
There was also this annoying ringing bell noise recurring throughout the film. I’m sure there’s some existentialist, deep, meaningful diatribe the filmmakers would offer up concerning the purpose of the bell. But, the only meaningful result achieved was creating a Pavlovian response where, upon hearing the dings, you are reminded that your life is currently miserable because you are still sitting through this train wreck of a movie. Thank baby jesusnards that the filmmakers couldn’t enhance the movie experience using our sense of smell as well. I imagine they would have flooded the theater with a combination of mustard gas and eel farts to drive their point home.
Julianne Moore is the “star” of this film. I would tell you what her character name is, but I have no clue, and really don’t think it matters. Scraping some pics off a google image search is about all the research I could muster. The only role before this one that I really liked her in was as Amber Waves in “Boogie Nights”. So, I’ll just call her Amber to help shield me from the pain of “Blindness”. While I don’t particularly dislike her as an actress, I do think there’s a good reason why not too many people have ever said : “Hey, we’d better get in line early if we want our tickets for the midnight premiere of that new Julianne Moore movie !!!”
Danny “I’m WAY too old for this shit” Glover and Mark “I’m the only down to earth guy in Hollywood, but that doesn’t equal talent” Ruffalo do their best to try to help Julianne drag this turd across the finish line. Mark plays her husband, and Danny is some kind of eccentric, eye-patch wearing “good guy”. Honestly, I really don’t recall much more about his character, other than the fact that he wasn’t a very memorable character. And now that I think about it, there are absolutely zero likable or relatable characters in this film. Which, I’m pretty sure is not what Fernando Meirelles(director) was going for. As a side note, he did not helm a film in the three years leading up to this film, nor in the three years following it. And that wasn’t because he was feverishly negotiating with rival studios in a bidding war for his “talents”. Anyway, not understanding any of the characters’ motivations led me to thusly, not care at all about what happened to them. In turn, the plot is a complete blur to me, but I’ll do my best to muster a recap.
Some kind of highly contagious virus(or something along those lines) causes the world to go blind. There are a few people(Amber) who are genetically immune to it, so they still have their vision. She spends most of the movie leading her husband(Mark Ruffalo) around trying not to get killed or get raped by blind people while looking for food. Then everyone gets magically cured at the end with no explanation whatsoever. The End.
There are a few points in the movie that stand as particularly mind-blowing “wtf did I just see?!” kind of moments. Like when they got stuck in a prison, somehow the prison becomes some kind of “Lord of the Flies” gone even more wrong type of micro-society. The jailhouse economy consists of trading food and trinkets in exchange for rape privileges. While that does indeed seem like a standard exchange for prison culture, there was something amiss. What seemed odd was the fact that the most valuable commodity in this world was still having your vision, yet Amber never takes advantage of this major asset. One would think Amber, or really anyone who possessed that power, would have a distinct edge in battling their adversaries. Instead, she starts just blowing random blind guys when she doesn’t really have to. Then, she somehow acquiesces to rape by sightless prison gangbangers as her means to eventual escape. Yes, I understand they have some weapons and super keen ears, but she can f*cking see god damn it. You will win that war. What am I missing here?
Then there’s the moment where I finally truly lost my shit, and just started clapping and laughing hysterically(and had other people join me). This occurred when, I sh*t you not, a roving gang of formerly domesticated street dogs(complete with bijon frises) begins attacking people and then, eating the corpses. Hahahahahaaa. Whew. That finally pushed this movie into the so bad it’s kinda good category, for about 45 seconds out of over two hours of running time. This is the only thing that saved this movie from an absolute zero rating. I almost didn’t want it to happen, so I could finally find a movie that was somehow worse than “Summer of Sam”. But, alas, it’s a dead heat.
Overall Rating : 0.1/10