By Chris Ernst
Blindness is based on a novel written by the Nobel Prize wining Portuguese author, José Saramago.
Blindness makes great statements about humanity and what it means to be human. That said, it felt long, and long movies generally are not plagued with the problems short movies. The style of the movie is grainy and gritty. The snap zoom and wondering focus is reminiscent of a documentary or reality show.
Blindness is a film about people. It does not answer any of the questions the audience should have. What causes the (Sickness? Disease?) blindness goes unexplained. It may or may not be spread from person to person or it may be some kind of reaction to environmental factors. Also, the setting is not clear at all. Additionally, none of the characters’ names are revealed.
The movie gets interesting when the Ministry of Health decides to quarantine the blind. A blind ophthalmologist is picked up at his house to be quarantined, but his wife wants to go as well. She says, “You have to take me. I’ve just gone blind.” As the only visually capable one among blind people, the she takes on all of the duties to keep her ward of the quarantine functional.
From this point, Blindness really excels at showing the ugliness of humanity. One man in ward three proclaims himself king, and everyone accepts this because he has a gun. This sparks an a war between the wards, which ends up rather one-sided, as there is only one person who can see.
Blindness is almost like a filmed experiment. What would happen if modern people were put in an ancient time without laws and without rules?
Blindness really succeeds in holding a mirror up to society and pointing out how ridiculous, silly and materialistic we are. The film puts the audience very much into the movie, making the frustration, anger and helplessness come to life.