Commentaries

Friday, July 7, 2017

BLIND



FOR THE LADIES

Film Review by Fiore 


If you take the typical lover’s triangle tale and season it with a sprinkling of Gus Van Zant’s FINDING FORRESTER, you’ll have the basic premise for BLIND.  It is a chick flick, most suitable for the Liftetime Network.   What helps the film is solid performances from a stellar cast, including Alec Baldwin, Demi Moore and Dylan McDermott. 

Only an estrogen filled audience could appreciate the conflict screenwriter John Buffalo Mailer (one of the dreaded three-name people) pens.  We are to believe a woman who is living in the upper echelon of society, would chuck her carefree lifestyle for altruism. 

Demi Moore plays Suzanne Dutchman.  She is a pompous aristocrat who flaunts furs, diamonds and the lifestyles of the rich and famous.  She spends her day in health spas so she looks fabulous, and merely picks up a telephone and mentions her name, to have anything she wants, including reservations at special tables in exclusive restaurants.  Maids, chauffeurs and hired help, she readily walks away from this lifestyle for what?  Something intangible?  There isn’t a woman in today’s current society who would make this decision.  The film’s storyline is philanthropic to the point of absurdity.

Suzanne is aghast when she discovers some of her husband’s wealth may have been acquired through less than lawful methods.  Dylan McDermott plays Mark Dutchman, a powerful business broker who utilizes insider trading for augmenting his fortune.  When his partner, Howard, played by James McCaffrey is caught in a police sting operation, he turns state evidence against Mark for a plea bargain.  
 
Mark spends time in jail while an investigation and grand jury indictment are stockpiled. Suzanne, as the non-complicit wife, is ordered to perform community service hours.  She elects to read to the blind, and her client is Bill Oakland, played by Alec Baldwin.  Oakland is a former best-selling author who lost his wife, and eye sight in a car accident.  He is now a miserable curmudgeon who teaches at the local university and requires someone to read his student’s papers to him.  

While Suzanne and Bill mix as well as oil and water, they eventually discover themselves and begin an improbable relationship.  The relationship is based on Bill’s need to replace his lost wife, and Suzanne’s need to discover if there is more to life than living like the hoi ploi.  When Mark is cleared of all wrongdoing, the classic lover’s triangle is established.  Suzanne can readily return to her bourgeoise lifestyle, or opt for a perverse goodness with Bill.  The whole episodic set up, is just ridiculous.

1.1   KEY SCENES TO LOOK FOR:

1.  Gavin returns the script
2.  Lunch in prison
3.  The hot reading room

Director Michael Mailer orchestrates a tale comprehended only through female pretzel logic.  Baldwin is acting over the top, perhaps from doing too many Trump impressions on SNL.  With him in overdrive, some of the ludicrousness of the dialogue takes forefront.  Moore is smoking for an older woman; however, lines on her cheeks clearly show age, or the work of a plastic surgeon.  The star who shines is McDermott.  His character is conniving, and somewhat of a weasel, but he delivers the performance with assurance.



Jim Mol performs admirably by editing BLIND  to 98 minutes.  Music by Dave Eggar and Sasha Lazard and Cinematography by Michal Dabal are yeoman in nature.  Amy Lee wrote and sings the film’s title song.  I am an admirer of Lee’s vocals, going back to her days with Evanescence.  She shines here.


Let’s take a look at the report card for BLIND:

1.2       ACTING = B

1.3       CINEMATOGRAPHY = C

1.4      SOUND/MUSIC = B

1.5       EDITING = B

1.6      LIGHTING = C

1.7       SCRIPT = D

1.8      SFX = D

1.9      ACTION = C


All told, BLIND is strictly for the ladies.  Galant efforts by Baldwin and McDermott are not sufficient to elevate the film past mediocrity.   BLIND is similar to reading a Harlequin Romance; cute while reading, but largely forgettable when done.

THE REWATCH INDEX = None.

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