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South Korea has been one of the strongest contenders in the
world when it comes to contemporary genre, exporting electric films we find it
hard to shake post-viewing. Unfortunately, this fact may just be what brings
the perfectly fun BLIND down.
Aside from incorporating impressive visual flourishes that
aim to rope us into the affliction of its main character Soo-ah Min (an
excellent Ha Neul-Kim), Sang-hoon Ahn's (ARANG) latest is simply a well-made
thriller who’s lack of being overtly striking or startling, especially in the
face of the aforementioned wave of South Korean cinema, just doesn’t lend
itself to necessarily being a must-see.
The film begins as Soo-ah loses her eyesight in a car
accident in which her brother also dies. Blaming herself, she’s expelled from
her police academy and left to begin a new life, disabled. A few years on, she
runs directly into an active serial killer (Yeong-jo Yang) disguised as a taxi
driver. Convinced he’s struck down an innocent girl in a hit-and-run, she
saddles up alongside a detective and young delivery boy (Ho-yoo Seung) to track
The most engaging parts of BLIND consist of actively and
excitingly following along as Soo-ah uses her deduction skills through her
handicap. Instances in which she spells out how she figures height from the
sound of one’s voice keep the audience actively into the procedural process and
put a fun spin on the affairs at hand. It also serves to craft a strong,
independent lead in Soo-ah. Kim does a great job as the resilient, but often
frustrated amateur sleuth.
BLIND doesn’t necessarily go wrong at any point. Yang is definitely
convincing as a cold, precise killer, but it definitely becomes fare we’ve all
seen before. Yang’s serial murderer is in the medical field, of course, and the
relationship that develops between Soo-ah and young Si-geob Kwan as an obvious
callback to the loss of her brother is schmaltzy and not entirely heartfelt.
While the final act is tense, it becomes little more than a chase around the
house and it’s eventually realized that BLIND is essentially a popcorn movie
from a country in which we’re used to seeing more offbeat work.
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