Review: Land of the Blind
I admit, I didn't even know this movie was coming out. I have a feeling that there may only be five or six of you who have heard of Land of the Blind, even though it has Ralph Fiennes, Donald Sutherland and Laura Flynn-Boyle. After seeing the film, I'm surprised this is the case. I'll admit, there were a number of flaws and I could see how it might be tough to promote, but it deserved to open on more than two screens.
Land of the Blind is political satire that imagines a fictitious state under a totalitarian dictatorship. The dictator (Tom Hollander) uses taxes to fund his ridiculous lifestyle and stupidly large mansion. Ralph Fiennes plays a prison guard (Joe) watching over the leader of the uprising (Donald Sutherland, i.e. Thorne), who happens to be a political prisoner. Eventually, Joe helps Thorne overtake the evil dictator only to watch Thorne create an even more retched existense. This, of course, brings us to the moral.
Well, as many other reviewers have noticed, the moral isn't so fresh. I took away that dictatorship is bad and the grass is never greener. Despite these being far from earth-shattering, I was still entertained. This is probably because I'm a sucker for a highly stylized film, but I did think there was some interesting camera work, I enjoyed Ralph Fiennes' performance and the cutaways to newscasts were consistently funny.*
I'm going to give Land of the Blind an A for effort. It clearly wasn't a film for the ages but at least it tried. Anytime a studio tries for something other than a quick cash-grab, I'm happy to give it a shot. Still, save your ten bucks and rent it on Netflix.
* For example, if there were three murders in a K-Mart, the newscaster would follow this news with a live read of an advertisement for K-Mart. It's funny because I could see it being true.