Blindness (18)

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The Independent Culture

Dystopian Breakdown, Part I. An epidemic of blindness grips a city population, and its first victims are herded into a ramshackle facility under guard.

Mark Ruffalo, playing a doctor, tries to organise the inmates into a supportive society, but Gael Garcia Bernal, playing opposite, takes control of the food supply and institutes a system of gangsterism. Adapted from a José Saramago novel, the film purports to examine the outer limits of humanity – the one or the many, the self or the greater good? – but presses the allegory so hard as to choke the life out of it. There's also a huge and inexplicable flaw: Julianne Moore, as Ruffalo's wife, is the one inmate unaffected by the contagion, yet allows Bernal's tyrannical goons to take hold. Why? It's prurient, sentimental, and baffling to boot.