Eskil Vogt

7.5 Blind

Eskil Vogt (Norway, 1974)

Blind (2014) is a visual and narrative tour de force. It depicts the stream of consciousness of a a very intelligent and proud woman who is tortured and humiliated by a condition she didn't deserve. She is fighting her state by writing a novel in which at first she fights her husband's role in her life and then finds peace in it.

The film opens with the voiceover and stream of consciousness of a woman, Ingrid, who has gone blind. Then we see her hands searching for the familiar objects of her house after her husband Morten left for work. Then the film abruptly shifts to another story. A single man who used to be addicted to pornographic videos and masturbated while watching them; and this is narrated by Ingrid in the past tense. The husband comes home in the evening. She has spent the entire day sitting in an armchair by the window and thinking, like every single day since she went blind. We see the creep watching from the window a woman who is undressing in another apartment. The blind woman tells us that Elin is a divorced mother who spends all the time with her son. The creep meets her in a supermarket. Sometimes Ingrid feels that her husband is in the room watching her in silence. Her husband accidentally meets the creep: it turns out they are old friends. Einar does not hesitate to tell Morten how lonely his life is. The camera follows Einar in the streets of the city, but then we see Ingrid writing Einar's story on her computer, and we realize that Einar and Elin are simply characters in a novel that she is writing. Again, she feels that her husband is sitting silently in the room and watching her. The camera shows us that the man is indeed sitting in a corner. She almost touches him when she is looking for a record that fell off a shelf but then... the camera shows that there is nobody in that chair. It happened in her imagination again. The husband is affectionate and caring. She keeps imagining things: when he is working on the laptop in bed, she imagines that he is chatting with Einar on vulgar topics. She imagines Einar asking her husband about children and her husband replying that they tried unsuccessfully. Einar chats with Elin on the computer and asks her out on a date but suddenly... she goes blind. The blindness only lasts a few seconds though. Morten spies on her from the window of his apartment until she goes to bed. Ingrid imagines that Morten has a date with Elin and they talk about the fact that he doesn't have children. Then again Elin goes suddenly blind. She pretends to be ok but Morten easily realizes that she can't see. She tries to explain but stutters.. and we see that Ingrid is typing the story but can't quite finish it... Elin's stuttering is simply Elin's block... Elin restarts speaking when Ingrid restarts typing and we see her typing the exact words that Elin tells Morten. Nonetheless, Morten and Elin have sex in her apartment. while Einar is home alone. Ingrid is getting increasingly neurotic, while Elin is now permanently blind and doesn't even recognize Einar. At least Elin in Ingrid's novel has a child (now a daughter) that Ingrid in real life doesn't have. Morten dumps Elin via a text message that she needs to play aloud in the bus because she cannot read it; Elin replies that she is pregnant. Ingrid seems to feel satisfaction in showing the humiliating situation of her blind heroine. Morten tries to convince Ingrid to attend a dinner party with him but she finds excuses. He is frustrated, she gets angry that he is frustrated. She is still not strong enough to face the world outside. Ingrid, alone at home, drinks wine and imagines that the blind Elin joins the dinner party. Elin finds Morten in bed with three women. Then she tells him that she is pregnant. Ingrid is getting drunk. She imagines that Morten tries to convince Elin to get an abortion. Now she herself, the author, enters her novel: she laughs at Elin and Morten questions her about the sanity of what she is writing about him. Morten protests that he would never cheat on her. Morten is talking to Ingrid dressed like Elin while Ingrid is sound asleep on the couch in front of them. Ingrid wakes up: it was just a nightmare, but now it continues. Einar finds Elin, who is struggling to leave the house, and walks her home. In the morning Ingrid finally leaves her house and walks around the neighborhood. She walks into a pharmacy to buy a pregnancy test. When her husband comes home, she asks him to read it because she can't see it. She is pregnant. The last scene is cryptic: she imagines that she is masturbating on the floor and her husband is watching her.
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