Let’s play “Follow The Leader”!
After reading the book by Jose Saramago, I thought that possibly this novel could be adapted for the big screen. It’s premise of a population gone blind had promise and could have been an interesting case study of human nature under duress. Unfortunately, what you got with this film wasn’t really a case study at all, but simply the work of an art-house director over-amplifying a movie.
Directed by Fernando Meirelles, who also directed…well…a bunch of Spanish films you’ve never heard of, goes into this film with a high regard for soft focus and extensive overlighting. The jest of the movie is this…the human race is experiencing a loss of vision. Virtually everyone has gone blind except for one woman played by Julianne Moore. Her husband, played by Mark Ruffalo, and a small group of people band together to make their place in a hospital/prison and then in the real world without their vision and with her guidance.
The book dives into the woman’s feeling of sacrifice and how she must deal with the “misfortune” of being the sole survivor of sight. The movie kinda deals with it, but there is only so much soul-searching that can be done until it gets monotonous with her feelings and a bunch of blind people fighting about who rules this small kingdom that they are forced to live in. Funny how seeing this premise visually changes what I feel about the book.
Anyway, it’s all done very artfully and there isn’t really anything terribly wrong with the movie. I just found it somewhat boring. All the actors in the film are good and the pacing is similiar to the book. But what Meirelles does is try to make it all more encompassing instead of concentrating on the lead character, which leaves the movie kind of wandering aimlessly. Which seems somewhat appropriate considering the premise of the movie…
Overall Rating: C+