Saturday, March 13, 2010

Movie Review: The Blind Side

Directed by John Lee Hancock
Screenplay by Sandra Bullock, Tim McGraw, Kathy Bates, Jae Head
Duration 126 Minutes
Rated PG-13

My Wonderfully Majestic Opinion
One thing to keep in mind when it comes to film and the experience that comes along with it is the rhetoric behind the story.  How are the film makers using rhetoric to appeal to the senses?  What is the director and writer’s purpose in the literary and visual side of things?  What type of audience is the film attempting to reach out too with the performances, musical output, and artistic deliverance?  The answers to these kinds of questions are tunneling through my mind as I look back on the Blind Side and how it affected me personally.  I am then at a cinematic stand still where the emotional impact has very little effect on me because of the rhetorical approach the film takes, in which case I find myself at a stalemate of the films quality.

I entered into the theater late where, according to the ticket booth cashier, I was stuck with only a ten seat selection seeing as how this showing was almost sold out.  I walked into a dark auditorium with the light illuminating off of the white, middle class representatives of Ft. Collins, Colorado.  I was already in the mist of a crowd who were ready to see a story about a misfortuned black kid whose life was change by the good deeds of a white family.  The twists and turns their intertwined lives take give new meaning to the personalities and portray the rest of the world as selfish and a self-absorbed social class who feel they have a monopoly on life and how it should be run.

I do not mean to imply that the emotional aspects of the film are invalid or uninspiring; however the films rhetorical approaches are quite manipulative and predictable.  Here we have a middle class white family who has adopted a down on his luck black boy in hopes to change his life, where the rest of the world disapproves in the beginning but later love both the boy and the family.  (If you haven’t seen this plot device before, then you haven’t seen a lot of movies.)  This is the story of many in which directors have capitalized on and made millions because of it.  It is obvious that the film was molded to meet a certain standard that the majority of movie goers will love and accept the film as inspiring and wonderful, which causes them to believe this to be one of the year’s best films.  And as the film maintains a sense of craftsmanship and film making artistry, it remains in the typical film “feel-good” genre and produces a “hollywoodized” version of a very sad and emotional true story.

The acting was in between good and great, with Kathy Bates out shinning all of her acting peers.  Sandra Bullock delivers a performance very reminiscent of the typical southern house wife who is very caring and loving, but with a very boastful and a doesn’t-take-shit-from-anyone attitude.  (She reminds me of most of the women in my family actually.)  Tim McGraw, while only a minor character, gives an accurate depiction of a southern male who takes a very laid back approach to most things in life, in addition to the masterful performance provided by Kathy Bates whose acting talents were limited only by the lack of screen time in comparison to the mainline actors.  And while I do believe Sandra Bullock to have delivered a top notch performance, she does not touch Meryl Streep!

The film did seem to run rather long but did not feel contrived.  The films flow and editing qualities were quite good and the use of camera angles were “safely” well done.  The film follows the same film making techniques that go along with the rhetorical and manipulative story telling aspect.  Along with making the life of the middle class beautiful and gorgeously inspiring, (props given to the musical composer for aiding in the amplification of that emotional depiction) we also see the “dark” side of the city which, coincidentally, is filled with dark people.  A very prejudice approach, even if the film makers didn’t realize it.

My Awe-Struck Conclusion
While most of this review is hung on the negative side of things, I did enjoy certain aspects of the film.  The humor will make you laugh and roll your eyes in a positive way.  But the film’s approach at presenting one side of the story is annoyingly obvious and in the “Hollywood” tradition.  The story itself is a terrible tragedy met with an inspiring ending, but the film goes about telling it predictably and manipulatively.

Rating: 5 out of 10 stars

1 comment:

  1. yeah most def a manipulative movie

    i didn't like bullock's smart-butt attitude either