22 August 2011 | Spikeopath
I can't see things that are right in front of me, and I can see things that couldn't be there.
Blink is directed by Michael Apted and written by Dana Stevens. It stars Madeleine Stowe, Aidan Quinn, James Remar, Paul Dillon, Peter Friedman, Bruce A. Young and Laurie Metcalfe. Music is by Brad Fiedel and cinematography by Dante Spinotti. Story sees Stowe as Emma Brody, who after being blind for 20 years receives a double cornea transplant that mostly restores her sight. However, she's subject to something known as "retroactive vision" which means that what her blurry vision at first sees doesn't register to the brain sometime later. A problem, now, because there has been a murder committed upstairs at her apartment complex and she's the only "eye" witness to the murderer.
It's all set up to be a standard woman in peril thriller, the kind that drops into the cinema on a yearly basis. But thanks to some technical smarts and a terrific performance by Stowe, Blink is one of the better films from this particular sub-genre. It's a bit saggy in the middle, where, probably thanks to the success of Basic Instint and Sea of Love in the five years previously, Apted and co try to turn it into an "erotic" thriller as Stowe and Quinn's surly copper form a relationship, but it's genuinely tense and the novelty of Emma's unusual affliction never wears thin.
Apted and his team have devised a unique visual effect that lets us see the world through Emma's unusual eyes, and the result is very unsettling. Blurry focus blends with wobbly vision and this allows for scary moments that stretch the concept across the films running time. It's of course a hokey premise, and the formula at the core of the plot is nothing new, but the character of Emma, coupled with her "affliction" is. Emma is no poor victim looking for sympathy, she's spunky, sexy and not suffering fools gladly. She lives as an independent, plays fiddle in a Celtic rock band (The Drovers playing themselves) and is full of feminine whiles. Stowe really gets to grips with the character and convinces fully. Quinn is OK, plays sarcastic and moody with ease, while Apted has a keen eye for the Chicago locale and Spinotti's photography is gorgeous in colour tones.
It needed a better, more frantic, ending, and that over played mid-section stops it from being from the top draw of thrillers, but otherwise it's well worth a look for potential first time viewers. 7/10