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movie reviewmovie reviewmovie review out of 4 Movie Review: Blink

Starring: Madeleine Stowe, Aidan Quinn
Director: Michael Apted
Rated: R
RunTime: 106 Minutes
Release Date: January 1994
Genres: Drama, Romance, Suspense

*Also starring: James Remar, Peter Friedman, Bruce A. Young, Laurie Metcalf, Matt Roth, Paul Dillon

Reviewer Roundup
1.  Dragan Antulov review follows movie reviewmovie reviewmovie review
2.  Steve Rhodes read the review movie reviewmovie reviewmovie review

Review by Dragan Antulov
3 stars out of 4

According to the video distributor in my country, BLINK, 1994 movie by Michael Apted, was awarded as the best thriller for that year. That wasn't enough for this film to be picked from the multitude of different thrillers that used to flood the video store shelves few years ago. But I remembered Michael Apted as a director of very interesting, although not too successful 1983 thriller GORKY PARK. I also noticed Madeleine Stowe, an actress I like very much, in a lead role. That was enough for me to pick this film and I didn't regret it later.

Unlike many formulaic, by-the-numbers, thrillers, and despite its "high concept" premise, BLINK, scripted by Dana Stevens, has a rather complicated plot. Emma Brody (played by Stowe) was blinded by her abusive mother in childhood. Years have passed, and Emma, being adapted to darkness, became a folk musician in Chicago. But the new improvements in medical technology allowed her to see again through donated eyes. Emma has some problems adapting to the new, strange and now visible world, and additional problem comes from a rare phenomena called "delayed vision" - her brain tends to receive old visual signals from her eyes. That same problem would get her in trouble when her next door neighbour gets murdered and she begins thinking that she saw the suspect. John Hallstrom (played by Aidan Quinn), detective on the case, is, of course, sceptical towards her claims, but, on the other hand, very attracted to her.

What differentiates this thriller from many others is the fact that it isn't so clearly defined in the terms of genre. BLINK mixes thriller with the elements of psychological drama, love story and comedy. Those other genre elements, although not so overwhelming, and together with urban Chicago setting, bring a breath of every day life realism into the story that would otherwise look like lifeless "high concept" product. But BLINK still has thriller credentials, and it is still a very suspenseful and exciting film. Most of the suspense comes from the fact that in many scenes the audience, same as movie's heroine, doesn't know whether to believe or not to believe the sight. Also, the movie has rather original villain with even more original agenda, and the ending is somewhat unusual for this kind of film. What makes this film ultimately work are the actors. Madeleine Stowe, one of the most remarkable actresses in modern Hollywood gave a very good performance in her role of a blind woman frightened by the new and sudden perception of world. Aidan Quinn, who used to work with Stowe in Badham's STAKEOUT, has a really good chemistry with her, and his performance of cynical yet dedicated policeman is fine too. Music by the folk band "Drovers" delivers a soundtrack which is refreshingly new for this kind of films. All in all, the video distributors didn't lie - BLINK is a very good thriller that deserves more than a glimpse from those who want originality in that genre.

Copyright 1999 Dragan Antulov

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