Friday, January 12, 2018

HYSTERICAL BLINDNESS (2002)



Directed By: Mira Nair 
Written By: Laura Cahill (Based On Her Play) 
Cinematography By: Declan Quinn 
Editor: Kristina Boden 

Cast: Uma Thurman, Juliette Lewis, Gena Rowlands, Justin Chambers, Ben Gazzara, Anthony De Sando, Callie Thorne Two friends lament their unhappy single lives while searching for Mr. Right in 1980s New Jersey.


When the film came out it was made specifically for HBO and seemed to be a star studded film Packaged more to be a star vehicle for Uma Thurman in a role meant to show her range and use her beauty against her in a way. With a role where the beauty doesn’t get all she wants no matter how hard she works for it.

The title which might help explain this film and what it aims for of more hype than anything else. It ends up with dwindling results as the talent is here but there isn’t much for them to do except try hard to seem ordinary.

So excited that you become blind temporarily from what you expect. Here you might be so excited that you turn a blind eye to the fact not much really happens.

The film is set after experiencing the title action as a sort of awakening for the character.

The film seems get’s lost in itself leaving the audiences very limited places to go. Which makes the film feel longer then it actually is, As it is based on a play the film tries to open the material up, but it still plays so much more interior and cerebral in essence more character based.

Taking shape in 1980’s dress up making the film feel like a flashback or a time capsule. Making itself up to seem typical like the character. As we wait to learn why we should take interest other than the film presents her as the point of interest. As there is no explanation for it taking place in the time period.

The film goes for a realism, That Is more a slice of life tale that ends up trying to be a romance and also a character study. Though it seems to want to be uplifting. It adds in it’s realism a harshness and the often non-exciting parts that build character but don’t enliven the story necessarily.

Where she believes herself to be better than her surroundings but she might actually be where she is supposed to. As she pins all her hopes on another person who doesn’t see her or her value as anything. But an occasional acquaintance.

The film is built like some kind of doomed romance when the actual love story of any is between her mother and an older gentleman caller plays by Cassavettes mainstays Gena Rowlands and Ben Gazzara who you wish the film was more about

As in this film it’s Filled with dramatic characters but gives them little to do. No matter what flashes of life director Mira hair tries to give the film it comes off as downtrodden and dull. It feels like a pilot for a show that has no real overreaching ark or is try by to hold back.

The direction and tone makes the film feel deeper and darker then it actually is, Though certainly adds the grit, Where as it could have just gotten lost in being a period piece drama. More concerned with the time period than anything else

Uma Thurman’s is winning in the role but barely presents anything of interest in the character other than her looks as she seems to have very little else going on though her character feels she is better than others like her slow witted friend played with excellence by Juliette Lewis who is loyal though is hard to keep up with.

It more feels like you are talking a dramatic at the type of woman who is used to being used and thrown away or shown interest in until you get what you want from her. Usually the one night stand or the hook up, who is looking to settle down or at least something more as well as stability.

 Grade: C+

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