Friday, 13 February 2015
Reaction to Proof
Thumbs down. That was my reaction. I did not like this film.
I have to confess that I might have been affected by a childhood experience seeing "Wait Until Dark," in which some weird con men torment blind Audrey Hepburn in a creepy way, taking advantage of her blindness to terrorize her. It seemed to me the ultimate cruelty.
So, with that same vulnerability at the heart of this movie, I was sort of creeped out from the beginning. Martin, blind from birth, is convinced that everyone is lying to him, and he can never trust that people are telling him the truth. So he takes photos, and asks strangers to describe the photos to him. And then there was the creepy "housekeeper," tormenting him in her own weird way -- moving furniture purposely to trip him, preventing his dog from running to him in the park so Martin is uncertain about where the dog is (you won't be surprised to her that that really bothered me. Don't mess with the dog!). Her weird obsession was just too ... weird.
There was also a sadness to both of those characters that I found troubling.
Russell Crowe - relaxed, grinning -- was initially a welcome breath of fresh air, which of course was his character's role. He seemed normal, honest, without a strange agenda in the background -- until that moment in the park, when he's put in the middle of that weird housekeeper's game. Ick. I suppose the end was meant to be hopeful. But I was just relieved the movie was over.
As for the photography angle -- well, I have to say that the whole premise of a guy who bases his reality on other people's descriptions of his photos is odd and sad. And yes, it points up the blind man's vulnerability and his weird attempt to gain control and figure out who he can trust.
So I'd put this on the "don't bother" list.
Here's my pick for this coming week: Annie Leibovitz: Life through a Lens. (Looks like it's on Youtube and Amazon instant streaming and even Itunes.)