(This is a revised version of a Persona Paper post.)
The plot of the movie is that this guy suddenly goes blind, but instead of seeing black, he sees white. This is odd. What’s worse, is that the eye doctor he goes to, the other patients, etc., all start going blind as well. Not knowing how else to deal with this disease, the authorities put the blind people in an old hospital. The eye doctor’s wife doesn’t want to leave him, so she says that she is blind so she is also sent to the hospital. She remains the one person who can see. The hospital becomes overcrowded and some thugs take over one ward and take all the food. At one point, they force the women in the other wards to submit to sex for food. But then the guards all disappear and this woman takes a small band through the nearly deserted city to her home. And it’s not too big of a spoiler because I figured this had to be the ending, but the little band includes the first guy to go blind and the movie ends with him regaining his sight.
If you watch the trailer, there’s a line where one of the thugs says he won’t forget the main character’s voice and she replies that she won’t forget his face. I remembered that bit of the trailer for years, but I couldn’t remember what the name of the movie was. Over a year ago, I started a list of movies I needed to see. I did a search for “blind movie” and found out it was Blindness. What a surprise.
According to Wikipedia, the author of the novel the movie is based on “described his novel as allegorically depicting ‘a blindness of rationality.’” I guess I’m just not that big a fan of allegory, because I found the premise interesting, I just couldn’t buy the unrealistic aspects of it. For example, they just shove these blind people in an old hospital. The authorities do send in food, but no doctors check on them? How many doctors suited up to treat the people infected with Ebola? The shoddy medical care depicted in the movie bothered me.
Something else that bothered me is the main character, the one who retains her sight. The doctor treats the first patient and goes home. His wife seems like a bit of a ditz and possibly even an alcoholic. The next morning, he goes blind and from then on she becomes this very competent person organizing and helping out all of these people. There didn’t seem to be an intermediate stage where she grows. Of course, such a scene may have just been cut from the version I watched, because there’s another scene later when they’re going through the city where one guy gets separated and wanders off. In the next scene, they just go on without him without any comment. So I’m guessing – hoping – I didn’t see the director’s cut. Overall, the movie isn’t great, but it isn’t terrible. If it sounds at all interesting, I would suggest finding the director’s cut.