New on DVD: Blindness


Blindness deals with a woman who feels exceedingly alone during an epidemic that unites everyone else in their sickness.

An unexplained outbreak of blindness spreads exponentially through the city and in lieu of any other plan, everyone who is infected is placed in quarantine. A doctor (Mark Ruffalo) is one of the first to enter the designated area with his wife (Julianne Moore), who is not affected but unwilling to leave her husband alone and helpless. The tale then becomes one of a woman stretched to her limits and a makeshift society run amok.

In addition to Ruffalo and Moore, Gael Garcia Bernal turns in an impressive performance as the self-proclaimed king of thieves, Danny Glover is the rational older gentleman, Alice Braga is the prostitute with the golden heart, and Don McKeller, who wrote the script and likes to appear in films to which he contributes, plays the belligerent patient.

The one element Blindness has in common with the last man on Earth plot is the total dissolution of effective government. It is an interesting look at one woman’s struggle, often conjuring imagery from zombie and apocalypse films. Unfortunately, the final half-hour slows down so much that you feel each minute drag past. If repetitive details were restricted, the film’s pace would be better. Furthermore, the conclusion feels excessive.

In the end, what could have been a great film based on story, abilities of the director (Fernando Meirelles) and cast, is made mediocre by pacing issues.

The first of the two-disc DVD contains the feature film and “The Seeing Eye,” which is an additional 30 minutes of behind-the-scenes footage embedded in the film. The second disc holds a 55-minute “making of” featurette titled “Vision of Blindness,” which shows how the cast learned to be blind and Meirelles’ unique style of shooting; and five deleted scenes that were intuitively cut from the film.

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