JDIFF Review – Blind

After a genetic condition robs her of her sight, Ingrid (Ellen Dorrit Petersen) retreats to the comfort of her home, a place where she feels safe. Her mind, however, has other ideas, and Ingrid is tortured with paranoid visions of her husband’s infidelities.

Blind is a clever cinematic illustration of the tricks our minds can play on us, from first time director Eskil Vogt. Ellen Dorrit Petersen is magnificent in the lead role, creating the perfect balance between paranoia and reality, and it is with her that the film lives and dies. The audience sympathises with a woman whose life was irrevocably changed, and who has not yet learned how to deal with the change that was thrust upon her. The rest of the cast is made up of Henrik Rafaelsen, Vera Vitali, Marius Kolbenstvedt and Jacob Young who do a capable job of backing up Petersen, and making her delusions feel believable.

Eskil Vogt’s screenplay is not one about madness and delusion, but of the lonely world that Ingrid finds herself in now that she has lost her sight. She writes stories to comfort herself, but cannot shake the fear that the world has turned against her as she searches to find a new way to live. As director, Vogt makes Ingrid the centre of the film, and allows the cast and story to revolve around her. The cinematography is strong, often making Ingrid’s world feel unusual, without the audience quite knowing how to put their finger on what’s wrong.

Blind is a film about isolation and loneliness, and worst fears made manifest on the big screen, this is dealt with sensitively and carefully, and through the perspective of a woman who is thrown into a world she doesn’t understand, and struggles to make sense of. Ingrid reaches resolution, and finds the ability to move on by the end of the film, but this ending feels a little too convenient to fit with the rest of the film; Ingrid is on a spiritual and emotional journey, and finding resolution through the physical feels a little disingenuous, when compared to the rest of the film.

In all, however, Blind is a strong and carefully constructed film about the tricks our minds play, and the danger of loneliness and isolation. Ellen Dorrit Petersen is luminous and captivating in the lead role, and Eskil Vogt has cemented his place as a director to watch.

Rating: 4/5

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