18 May 2010


This is a well-made film about unlikable people. A blind man with trust issues (Hugo Weaving), Martin, takes photographs so he can test the truthfulness of those who describe his surroundings to him. Constantly on guard against being deceived, he rejects the affections of the woman (Genevieve Picot), Celia, who cleans his house and does his errands but keeps employing her while claiming to detest her. Much of the film is taken up by their backbiting repartee.

After a chance encounter, he makes friends with a young dishwasher (Russell Crowe, almost unbearably young here), Andy, and decides to trust him.


The plot is rather predictable from here: the heavily defended Martin lets down his guard with Andy, Andy betrays him, and Martin learns that being betrayed is part--not all--of friendship. Still, the story is compellingly told, with strong performances and snappy dialogue. The weakest aspect of the movie is that the characters are on the edge of being so dislikable that we don't care what happens to them.

Mostly, they stay on the correct side of that edge.

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