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!

Here Is What Is – Daniel Lanois

Acclaimed singer/songwriter/producer Daniel Lanois, known for producing some of the greatest albums of the last two decades. He also has his own solo stuff that has got him much acclaim. His 6th studio album Here Is What Is was first released in December 2007 as a high-quality download, and later released on CD on March 18, 2008.

It is the result of the same project that lead to the 2007 documentary “Here Is What Is” that premiered at the 2007 Toronto International Film Festival in September. We start off with Chest Of Drawers, a voice recording of Brian Eno speaking (as in the documentary). The  first song is Where Will I Be followed by Here Is What Is. The atmospheric, world weary tone is apparent in them and it’s sets the mood for the rest of the album.

The almost apologetic Not Fighting Anymore is beautiful and melancholic. Eno is then asked about how beauty is created out of nothing. The instrumental Blue Bus is fleshed out by the beautiful pedal steel guitar work of Lanois. Lovechild is a haunting piano instrumental, with just some words, that reminds of snowy arctic life, which then segues into pedal guitar. Harry is about a guy who needs some salvation. Bells Of Oxacana offer an interlude before a surprise in This May Be My Last Time – which is a old time blues number. Smoke #6 is another lovely instrumental.

I Like That is a slow & mellow request for the things that the singer desires. Duo Glide starts off with a steady drum beat, the bass and guitar follow to create a nice intro. Bladesteel is another instrumental. Moondog reminds me of Native Canadians tribes music. And the name ‘Moondog’ sounds like it could be the name of a Native. Brian Eno speaks with Lanois about anti-romanticism in Sacred And Secular. Lanois then tells us about his love for the pedal steel guitar, which he describes as his ‘church in a suitcase’, before he serendes us with some guitar playing.

The pedal steel guitar continues for a bit in Joy, when a more cheerful sounding organ takes over. The album closes with Luna Samba, a lot more happier and jazzy sounding number. Here Is What Is was recorded in Toronto, Los Angeles and Shreveport, LA with drummer Brian Blade (Joshua Redman, Joni Mitchell, Norah Jones) and pianist Garth Hudson (The Band) and captures Lanois’ signature musical sensibilities and virtuosity.

Sundays At Home

This is the life! I’ve always been known to quote, along with a few of my friends, that all Indian companies should advocate the 5 day work week rule. I’ve been getting 2 Saturdays off in a month since May but for over 3 years I have been working 6 days in a row with just a day off (if not Sunday, then some other day).

This is a ridiculous format and the guy(s) who invented this must be hanged to death! You need 2 days to recover from the tension & stress of work. I can understand working 10-12 hours a day if you have Saturday & Sunday off to relax. Saturday should be going out, shopping, hanging out with your buddies, drinking and getting wasted.

Sundays – ah Sundays! They must be for relaxing on your bed with a cold breeze blowing in through the windows, lots of coffee, movies on your DVD player, apple juice, lazy afternoon naps, evening football on tv & pizza!