Blind Sun is a confident movie. It knows it’s beautifully shot and well acted. It revels in the idea that it has a message to pass onto its viewers, and because of this facade, I perhaps expected a bit too much out of it. What did resonate with me was the periphery events that are peppered throughout the film. Sadly, like the main thread of the film, they don’t really go anywhere either.
We start by meeting Ashraf, an immigrant worker hired to house sit for a couple heading out on vacation. Ashraf’s main responsibilities are to feed the cat, keep the pool clean (and hidden) and generally make sure nothing catches on fire. You know, a typical house sitting gig, save for that keeping the pool hidden part, but we’ll get back to that later. We’re set up in this gorgeous villa in Greece, but unfortunately, we have nowhere to go–both literally and metaphorically. It seems Ashraf is an immigrant on some sort of work visa; a work visa that gets taken away from him in the opening moments of the film. The story tries to create tension with this plot point but it mostly falls flat. Sitting back and writing this, I don’t think we ever did resolve that thread in the film, but that’s par for the course with Blind Sun. Situations are setup, they spark a bit of intrigue, and then they’re left to wither and die without resolution.
Other plot points regard a water shortage throughout the country and immigration. The former being more important than the latter which is where keeping the pool hidden comes into play. Water in Blue Sun is in short supply, and there is a hint of outside influences taking advantage of the situation. But that’s literally all I can say about the plot because everything in Blind Sun is steeped in vagueness. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but when I walk away from the movie without any real sense of closure about anything I just saw, that is a bad thing.
Ashraf, an aloof fellow, lets most of these events wash over him. They’re not for him to interpret. After all, he lives in this world–he knows the deal. We as viewers can parse this out and deal with what it means on our own. And that type of pondering is exactly what Blind Sun is made for. This is a film that takes its damn time to do just about anything. If you’re here for a punchy film that grabs you for 90 minutes, you’ve made a grave mistake. Blind Sun isn’t interested in explaining itself. It isn’t interested in revealing itself either. The movie simply shuffles Ashraf around the estate from room to room waiting for something, anything,to happen. When things finally do “pop off”, we’re left with more questions than answers. If you’re like me, that’s not a bad thing either. I prefer a story that allows for my own head cannon,but when there is so little to work with, it’s an exercise in frustration.
A little inside baseball on my review process. When I’m assigned a movie I typically avoid the trailer and any info about the movie until after I’ve watched it. I like to go in as blind as possible, so when Blind Sun popped up as a review opportunity, I raised my hand. In retrospect, I should have known something was afoot. Because when I said I’d take it, Luke responded with “please god do”. Now I know why. It’s not that Blind Sun is bad. It’s well made from a technical standpoint, and it does manage to create moments of tension here and there–but in the end, they’re too far and infrequent to gain any traction. Unfortunately, this is a pass.
Blind Sun is out now on Shudder
Blind Sun [Review]
Blind Sun is trying to do something special and it has to chops for it. Just not enough intrigue to retain my attention.