DRAMA; 1hr 56min
STARRING: Julianne Moore, Mark Ruffalo, Gael García Bernal, Alice Braga
Follow the leader: from left, Ruffalo, Joe Pingue, Moore, Danny Glover and Braga
To be suddenly blinded, your vision reduced to a milk-white fog, would be baffling and frightening, especially when your condition becomes a mass, mismanaged epidemic. Herded into a derelict psychiatric hospital lit with Stalag-style brutality, you wait for something to give while praying that it won’t be you. But, of course, it will be. Because whatever you were in the previous world — an ophthalmologist (Ruffalo), his loving wife (Moore, in all her freckled, reality-nibbled glory) who can still see but pretends she can’t to stay with him, a bartender (Bernal) or a lady of the night (Braga) — you have been overthrown.
When anarchy takes charge, destruction is the currency. Watching a horde of half-crazed blind people ripping into each other is queasily wild. Only when togetherness and symbolism join forces in the final restorative act of director Fernando Meirelles’s heavy-duty Artistic adaptation of José Saramago’s 1995 novel does it start to dawn that this dejected grind has a brightish side after all.