The Blind Man Who Did Not Want to See Titanic
Writer-director Teemu Nikki’s The Blind Man Who Did Not Want to See Titanic is one of those rare cinematic gems that audiences won’t soon forget. The film stars Petri Poikolainen as Jakko, a devoted cinephile with a love of anything John Carpenter and a strong dislike for James Cameron’s seafaring romance. He, as does the film’s star, suffers from MS; he’s virtually blind and uses a wheelchair. His days are spent living the same routine in his cramped one-bedroom flat, his only source of happiness being his girlfriend, Sirpa (Marjaana Maijala). They speak everyday, despite having never met before. But when her health takes a turn for the worse, Jakko decides to make the journey alone to meet her.
Poikolainen is outstanding in the leading role. He has an endearing charm and wonderful sense of humour that sparks an instant connection with the viewer. Whether he’s teasing his carer by calling her Annie Wilkes or joking with Sirpa over the phone, it’s impossible not to root for his happiness. And its precisely this that makes Jakko’s later ordeal so nerve-wracking to watch, with the actor nailing every beat of his performance. It’s not everyday that a film can take audiences on an emotional journey of this magnitude: it’s funny, loving, compassionate and, at times, terrifying. Jakko’s journey demands to be experienced alongside him; to divulge anything else about the plot would sour the experience.
The film likewise succeeds in taking viewers into a world as close as possible to what the protagonist experiences. Events are framed almost entirely in close-up to Poikolainen’s face, with everything in the background out of focus. Sometimes sound is all that viewers and Jakko have to discern the world around them. The result is a strong relationship with the protagonist and his worldview, which only heightens everything else going on here.
Nikki’s latest feature is unlike anything else. It’s a remarkable and unforgettable viewing experience the that needs to be seen to truly understand how fantastic it is.
The Blind Man Who Did Not Want to See Titanic does not have a UK release date yet.
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Watch the trailer for The Blind Man Who Did Not Want to See Titanic here: