Trigger Warning: This is a review of the film ‘Blind’ and mentions sexual abuse, murder and violence.
Starring Sonam Kapoor Ahuja, Purab Kohli, Vinay Pathak, Lillete Dubey, Subham Saraf and must to mention Elsa, a cute little Labrador, Shome Makhija’s Blind is a joint production of Jio Studios, Kanai, AVMA & Kross Pictures, RV Motion Pictures and Lead Films. The story revolves around an unsighted Indian police officer, who perceives knowing the accused behind abnormal abductions of young women from the city and is determined to get to the bottom of it.
It all starts with the valiant lady officer Gia (Sonam Kapoor) yanking out her younger brother Adrian (Danesh Razvi) from a concert, considering his exams the next day; she intentionally handcuffs Adrian while he tries to get back into the club. On the way back to their place, they wrangle with each other on their past misery, for their parents left them at an orphanage when they were young, while Gia is subdued and reflects the strength of her character while her brother still hopes to get a decent life with his parents. Soon, they start brawling and tussling each other, resulting in a car crash. This leaves Gia losing her eyesight, while his brother dies at the scene. A parallel story reports unusual missing complaints of girls from the city, leaving the police baffled.
Off the back of the accident Gia is left feeling culpable, accompanied by her guide dog Elsa, she is seen doing her everyday mundane work, trying to overcome her grief and her wish to join the police force again but is denied, because of her illegitimate use of her authority.
While she tries to turn the corner, destiny rather has imminent plans for Gia. One day, on her way back from the orphanage she gets into what she thinks is a taxi otherwise, the driver (Purab Kohli) turns out to be a psychopath serial killer. Owing to her senses, Gia has an instinct that things were iniquitous and gets out of the car, but is forced back in, further using her officer’s accords she aborts successfully. When she learns of the unusual kidnapping, she perceives that she knows and has an instinct that it was him (Kohli), the man she spoofed then behind all the illicit abduction.
In the film Blind, little to no build-up is given to Purab Kohli’s character, his identity is revealed too soon, for viewers to envisage a daily rundown of a crime thriller. The actor coming off the shore of the typical charming hero is an epitome in the legion as mostly they get underutilised by getting typecast. Kohli turns out to be fine but fails to add the lunacies to his character, the eccentricity the role demanded was missing from the lot, he never resembles a maniac, rather is shown as a ruthless sexual predator seeking pleasure by torturing women.
Gia having overrun the kidnapper, goes on to report to the police but is not taken into concern, because of her disparity. But, galvanised by her sense of perception, Officer Prithvi (Vinay Pathak) reckons and pulls up the investigation, eyewitness Nikhil (Subham Saraf) tries to misguide the investigation but comes at par being compassionate. Here onwards the movie is a regular hunt down- chase game between the two. There is a forceful overlay on Gia’s character each time; she constantly is wrecked down because of her guilt, making it grumpy for the eyes, hence failing to prosper sympathy towards her.
Although viewers are given a tinch of a psychosexual grunt of the killer underpinning his abusive and torturous childhood, but there is no ground provided to this and is certainly tossed off, leaving one hanging just at that. Apart, from a few convincing sequences, like the one where Gia on her way home with Elsa is stalked by the loony kidnapper and combats with him, the emotional upsurge on Kapoor’s face is convincing, the terror seized yet valiant expression on Gia’s face trying to escape away with her guide dog Elsa makes us want her to be defended.
While Gia stumbles upon a bridge she is defended by hitherto our dear Elsa, trying to bite off the kidnapper. The scene ceases with Elsa being brutally murdered by the maniac kidnapper which would surely leave you sobbing; it is from here that Gia is convinced to bring all of this to an end. Blind’s slow start with a sad note sets the premise, but it runs on and off unexpectedly. Every now and then you feel setbacks, frequent flip-overs, and scattering off the thrill element, the dialogue verses are too average to elevate with a routine screenplay.
Sonam Kapoor as Gia, a woman with disability, has surely brought conviction to her role, lends a tough exterior to a visually impaired girl who is determined to find purpose in her life and knows how to deal with her demons. However, in the second half of the film Blind, she fails to convince the viewers in her scuffle with Kohli, wearing a rock face. Vinay Pathak is natural in his role as a police officer, and light-hearted. He is portrayed as a glutton, snacking all the time; it is the bootless effort of the writer trying to add a fun element to the plot of the mystery-thriller. Subham Saraf is okay with his character; he is kind of annoying in the first half of the movie and is futile otherwise.
Aunty Maria (Lillete Dubey) has invariably less to add, one might expect her to add Gia’s back story but there is nothing as such. She is like a godmother to Gia, who tries in vain to resurrect her belief in God, whilst she constantly repudiates.
Shome Makhija stumbles upon providing a basic crux to the plot, the screenplay also is too generic for audiences to guess every next move, be it the threatening call from the psychopath killer or Prithvi being slumped by him. The atypical choice of English Rock music during scuffles and action sequences carries off the gravity, instead eccentric background score would have elevated the character of Kohli on account of his despicable acts.
Gairik Sarkar provides an eye- appealing cinematography all throughout the film Blind, he invariably manages to maintain the gloomy synopsis in the backcloth of Glasgow’s melancholy cityscape, and the maxima of red and pink have successfully managed to add a melodramatic aspect to the scenes, like the one where, Gia is seen visually impaired and gazing into nothingness, accompanied by red glare from a neon sign on her face this expertly shows her emotional despair; to mention, the sequence where the victim tries to elope from the kidnapper’s house is very well constructed, the footing of the old mansion accompanied with sluggish build-up is impressive.
The subdued approach by the makers of the Blind has restricted it to a mere chase game. The story is only elevated due to the performance of the character. The movie falls short in providing the basic crux, the thrill and mystery that one might expect in a crime thriller, hence never elevating the plot which is already undercooked.