Blind Spot (Blindsone)
There are reasons why episodes of Casualty aren’t two hours long. It seems that Tuva Novotny didn’t get the memo before making her feature-length medical procedural Blind Spot. After teenage girl Tea (Nora Mathea Oien) throws herself from her bedroom window when returning home from handball practice, we follow her mother (Pia Tjelta) and father (Anders Baasmo Christiansen) in the immediate aftermath as they await updates on her condition and ask themselves what could have caused this. Although Blind Spot is an ambitious artistic effort to tackle underlying issues of mental health in young people, with little substance or much direction, watching the film is the equivalent of sitting in a hospital waiting room.
Presented in one long take, the aim of this stylistic choice is to bring viewers closer to the emotion of each scene to make for more of a personal experience. At times, particularly in the opening third, this works thanks to a phenomenal performance by Tjelta who is convincingly authentic in her portrayal of a mother in shock throughout. Christiansen, too, is equally dedicated to his role and similarly makes his commanding scenes hit hard.
Aside from these rather fleeting moments, there’s little justification to have presented the film in this fashion. There’s simply not enough substance in many of the sequences to merit being shown in real-time. One excruciatingly long taxi ride from the hospital near the latter part of the movie, in particular, overstays its welcome insofar as the performer appears unsure of what to do to fill the time. There are far too many occasions where the runtime is padded out with sequences where nothing of interest or value happens, and cutting or shortening them could have saved a lot of time and tedium.
Another side effect of stretching out these events into a feature of this length is that the script doesn’t know how to fill scenes with meaningful dialogue; conversations become tautological, consisting of repeating variations of the same lines. This, combined with the close-up long takes, leaves the audience with an awkward voyeuristic experience.
What’s worse is that the viewer’s patience is all in vain as Blind Spot offers no satisfying conclusion or resolution to any of the issues raised. A stylistically bold endeavour, but there are episodes of Grey’s Anatomy that have handled the same issues better.
Blind Spot (Blindsone) does not have a UK release date yet.
Read more reviews from our Glasgow Film Festival 2019 coverage here.
For further information about the event visit the Glasgow Film Festival website here.