I remember this premiering at the Sundance Film Festival at the beginning of the year, it was there and at Berlin that it made a little splash. I remember looking on some reviews about this picture at the time and they were regarding it really highly, and i guess because of that the title stuck with me. Now nine months have gone by and little more about it was seen during these months, but my curiosity had yet to fade so i decided to take a look at this one. Blind is Directed by Eskil Vogt and it stars Ellen Dorrit Petersen, Vera Vitali, Henrik Rafaelsen and Marius Kolbenstvedt. I was hoping to get surprised going into this picture but i got to say that i did not anticipate Blind to be as good as it actually was. 2014 is building up to become the year of independent films. Last year we had our good share of indie features but this year, i feel as though the grand majority of the best pictures of the year so far, are indies. For now Blind stands aside pictures like Starred Up, A Most Wanted Man, The One I Love, Blue Ruin, Under the Skin among many others as the years best work. Going in, i didn't even know this was directed by the same guy who collaborated with Joachim Trier, and made Oslo, 31. August which i absolutely hold as one of the best pictures made in the last decade or so. So Eskil Vogt had already proved in the past to be a talented young writer but this didn't exactly mean that he had the skills to pay the bills when it came to directing. Fortunately though, albeit I wasn't as moved as I was with the tour de force that is Oslo, 31. August, I will say that this is a far more ambitious and creative picture. So the film starts with a blind woman narrating on how difficult or how easy it is to remember objects, first a tree, then dogs, then an apartment. It doesn't matter whether or not you remember it right, as long as you have a picture of what you remember. Our narrator whose name is Ingrid, let's her imagination fill in the blanks of her past and memories but also the blanks of what she can not see in the present. We learn that Ingrid is married and that she got blind after she married her husband Morten. Then from the middle of nowhere, Ingrid starts narrating the life's of other two people, it's weird because although she can't see her life and isn't sure about anything around, she seems to know everything about these two people. These two are Einar, a lonely man who may not ever have had sex but one things is clear, he hasn't been intimate with anyone as of late. He's a little bit of a creep as he masturbates five times a day and gets his kicks out of seeing woman in the streets. The other is Elin, just as lonely of a woman as Einar is of a man. She's a divorced single mother whose only company is her daughter. Soon enough we realize that these two people are characters created by Ingrid, as she seems to be writing some sort of novel or screenplay around these two characters. These two characters though start to get mixed with reality as Ingrid's husband Morten rapidly starts appearing in these day dreams, in this stories that she's creating. It gets to a point where you start wondering how much of what you see is reality and how much is Ingrid's imagination. We are never too sure of what's real or not, are these people or just characters, or both. Is Ingrid's husband really cheating on her? Her day dreams and stories mirror the way the feels inside. She feels lonely, depressed, she's afraid of being a burden and she fears her husband's loyalty. Everything comes into a very powerful and by the way beautifully constructed climax, that's super original, meaningful and witty. Ingrid ultimately destroys the fears that she has in the real world by crashing them in her dream and imaginations. Ultimately Ingrid faces her demons and problems through those day dreams and through the invented stories and because of that she's able to overcome the melancholic perspective of things and starts seeing things in a more hopeful way. It's a case where Eskil has to be applauded by his magnificent complex and imaginative screenplay, plus the direction that completes the screenplay's vision with just as much aspiration and boldness. Eskil's screenplay is marvelous with the invention and vision of a master like Charlie Kaufman as the film often reminded me of Adaptation. Eskil shows here to be a talent to be reckoned with, not only with writer skills but he also knew out to put this piece together. The visions and reality become tangled, inter- connected beautifully, never leaving the audience hopelessly confused but rather intrigued and fascinated by it all. The acting also helps, though no familiar faces are seen in the picture, all actors do deliver great performances. Ellen Dorrit Petersen is obviously the name that first comes to mind as the lead of the movie but really all the supporting cast that features Vera Vitali, Henrik Rafaelsen and Marius Kolbenstvedt are just as good. Bilnd is a very, very nice surprise. Much better than what I could have expected. It combines the powerful performances with a weird but imaginative and super captivating story that translates into the screen beautifully through the hands of a writer/director that is surely extremely talented. Rating:B+
Forsaken in a new Oslo apartment, a frail blind woman battles to come to terms with her condition, as she slowly retracts into an elaborate fantasy bubble. Are her stories fanning her suspicions, or is this what total blindness looks like?
January 27, 2021