I’ve been wanting to watch this movie ever since I saw a ‘the making of’ special back in January 2008. As a fan of Julianne Moore, this left me with some more incentive to watch what turned out to be a disturbing but thought provoking movie. I’m surprised that the movie hadn’t done that well and got mostly negative reviews.
The film is about a blindness epidemic that plagues an unnamed city (Sap Paulo is where most of the film was shot along with Montevideo, Uruguay and Guelph, Canada) starting with a Japanese man who goes blind while driving a car. All he can see is blurry, milky whiteness. He infects a thief (Don McKellar) who steals his car after dropping him home. The doctor (Mark Ruffalo) who treats the Japanese man is next and so is a woman in dark glasses (Alice Braga) a call girl who is also one of the doctor’s patients.
The infected are all quarantined off in an abandoned asylum, where they huddled in 3 wards and food is dropped off by mitary soldiers. Ward 3 starts taking over due to their leader King of Ward 3 (gale Garcia Bernal) having a gun and because of the accountant (Maury Chakin) a blind man from birth whose senses are otherwise accustomed. Ward 3 take over the food parcels and demand jewellry in exchange for it. When the jewels run out, they demand that the women in the other two wards pleasure them in exchange for food.
The doctor’s wife (Julianne Moore) is not infected but she pretends to be so, in order to be close to her husband. She becomes a silent leader and tends to the inmates. Despite her husband having sex with the girl in dark glasses, she still stays loyal. After having being sexually humiliated by the King of Ward 3, she kills him and demands food. One of the inmates sets the ayslum on fire and most of them escape to the outside world – only to find everyone infected & blind. Chaos and disorder reign and fighting for food & survival.
The doctor’s wife leads a small group back to their house where she takes care of the doctor, girl with dark glasses, a small boy, man with one eye patch (Danny Glover who also narrates the movie) and the Japanese couple. One morning over coffee the Japanese guy, who was the first to get infected suddenly gets his eyesight back. Over rejoycing, it also give the others hope that the blindness may suddenly lift as quickly and inexplicably as it came.
7 outta 10!