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THE BLIND MAN WHO DID NOT WANT TO SEE TITANIC (2021, FIN)

It seems that I am not the only one who stubbornly refuses and does not want to see the most profitable and most awarded film of all time, “Titanic” by James Cameron. That movie has always annoyed and irritated me and I don’t want to watch it at all, just like “Pearl Harbor” and some other pathetic, lemony, heart-wrenching movies, and the main protagonist of this unusual Finnish movie obviously thinks like me. Jaakko is a film buff whose apartment is full of DVDs, and he adores John Carpenter and Cameron’s previous films, but unlike me, who might give up by the end of my life, this Finn is unfortunately not so lucky.

Jaakko is in an advanced stage of multiple sclerosis, which has caused him to lose his sight, and in addition, he is immobile from the waist down and is in a wheelchair. Anyway, this 35-40-year-old guy lives alone, is occasionally visited by help, and thanks to his smartphone, he can communicate with the outside world. Through some internet services, he also found a girl, also visually impaired Sirpa, whom he had never met, and he finally decided to go to her in a town that is a few train stops away. For most of us, this distance is not a problem, but for Jaakka it is a serious undertaking, especially since he decided to go there alone, hoping for the help of the people he will meet along the way.

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But instead of help, he will encounter the worst human scum on the way, jerks who will try to rob him by taking advantage of the situation in which this unfortunate man found himself. And unlike “Titanic” and similar bland and pathetic lemonades, experienced Finnish filmmaker Teemu Nikki luckily managed to avoid all that and made not only a stylistically interesting and original film, but also “The Blind Man Who Did Not Want to See Titanic ” an unexpectedly funny film. We can first of all thank the main actor, the director’s long-time friend Petri Poikolainen, for the functioning of this whole story, who is really in the same situation as the character he embodied. However, his Jaakko is not one of those guys who spends time in self-pity, instead we see that he continues to joke about himself.

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He says in a conversation with Sirp that he realized he couldn’t watch movies anymore when he noticed that he couldn’t tell who was Kurt Russell and who was the Siberian husky in Carpenter’s “Creature”. Regardless of the tragic and sad situation he is in, he does not want to lose heart and tries to be as independent as possible. He is aware that he cannot function without the help of others, but he does not want to surrender and be only a burden to other people, and by traveling to Sirpa, he seems to want to prove something to himself.

With this inclusive, but also unexpectedly good film, Nikki presented himself in the Horizonti section of the Venice festival, where the film won the audience award, while Poikolainen received the award for Finnish actor of the year. Apart from the fact that “The Blind Man” stands out for its unusual and engaging story, it is particularly interesting that it was shot in a way where the director seems to be trying to put the viewer in Jaakka’s perspective, although this is clearly impossible. So the image is out of focus all the time, blurry and in the foreground is Jaakka’s face, and from the side we probably only see what he actually sees, which are blurry shadows and we absolutely cannot make out anything around him. Although in the beginning this filming technique seemed a little tiring, soon one gets used to it, and even faster the main character gets under his skin and starts rooting for him to succeed in what he sets out to do. A real pleasant surprise from a film that, unlike “Titanic”, should not be missed.

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