October 20, 2008

Blindness

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I had seen previews for this movie starring Julianne Moore and Mark Ruffalo several months ago, and it had gone out of my mind.  When deciding to go to a movie last week, my friend and I came across it again and decided to try it out.  It seemed like an interesting concept.  The basic plot of the movie centers around a plague of blindness that is rapidly spreading, and the government response.

Mark Ruffalo plays an eye doctor - the first to see a case of the strange illness, and Julianne Moore is his wife.  Once the blindness starts to spread, there is a panic, and the blind are shipped away to a seemingly abandoned hospital type facility.  When the po-po come for Ruffalo, Moore tells them she has also gone blind so she can go with him.  She ends up as the only seeing person in what increasingly becomes a horrifying prison for the blind.

The movie follows the main couple and several central characters through their time in the facility and eventual abandonment of it, as well as what happens after that.  The blind are surely subject to the stench and outright filth of the makeshift prison, but as the only seeing person, Moore is subjected to watching the horrors unfold.

When it was over, I didn't feel much of anything about it.  I didn't like it.  I didn't hate it.  It just... WAS.  I'm not annoyed that I saw it, but I don't necessarily think it was worth the $10 I paid for the ticket.  There were some things I liked about it - it's certainly an interesting concept, and some of the filming, especially the shots of what it looked like as the people were losing their sight, were really cool.  I liked that the story took place in an unknown city/country - there were people of all races, and no signs as to where the story took place.  

But I felt unsettled by the squalor portrayed in the prison.  I suppose that I felt that much of the movie was gratuitous.  I would have rather watched the story from a different side - scientists trying to figure out what happened, or repair of the society - what happened afterwards?  Instead we watched the people fall apart and criminals take over the food supply, ultimately leading to a pretty graphic, very disturbing rape orgy.  

This is one that I wouldn't recommend to the faint of heart.  It was disturbing and unpleasant to think about.  If you do want to see it, there's no reason to see it in the theater - you might as well save a few bucks and rent it when it comes out on DVD.

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