"In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king," Erasmus once said. Well what title does that bestow upon the two-eyed woman when the whole world is suddenly sightless?
An outbreak of blindness spreads across the globe and the afflicted are herded into unattended, quarantined barracks. Not wanting to part with her now-blind spouse (Mark Ruffalo, Just Like Heaven), an eye doctor's wife (Julianne Moore, The Forgotten) feigns sightlessness and also ventures inside—making her a lone quasi-social worker among a dorm full of handicapped residents. Left to fend for themselves, a new rudimentary sort of society emerges inside.
As I watched, I saw serious flashes of Lord of the Flies as humanity in these circumstances was reduced to impulsive and irrational behaviors. Despite not a single given name within the film, an all-star cast was assembled to tell the story—one of good vs. evil natures and the quick decline our species can experience given the right catalyst. Moore brilliantly ties the story together as a dedicated wife and caretaker who stretches herself to limits beyond which most others could possibly see themselves going.
Apparently, the National Federation of the Blind abhorred the film for its suggestion that sightless individuals are more prone to incompetence. However, to me, as a metaphor, the blindness fits as a perfectly accurate metaphor.
It's grittily realistic and, as such, difficult to watch at points, but still serves as a dramatically interesting film.
This video courtesy of Hollywood Video, 590 Broadway Ave., 208-342-6117.