Blind Spot

Told in a single, unbroken take, Blind Spot follows several characters, including Pia Tjelta’s Maria and Nora Mathea Ă˜ien’s Tea, as they attempt to cope with a very sudden and potentially life-altering catastrophe. First-time filmmaker Tuva Novotny certainly doesn’t shy away from capturing the rather mundane nature of her characters’ lives, with this especially true of an opening stretch detailing teenager Tea’s afterschool exploits (including a rather long walk back home with a friend). It’s striking stuff that straddles a very thin line between fascination and tedium, with any thoughts towards the latter essentially (and effectively) obliterated by an utterly unexpected twist at around the half-hour mark – with the movie, past that point, segueing into a wrenching and engrossing midsection that benefits substantially from Tjelta’s hypnotic, searing performance (ie Tjelta is completely up for the task of portraying the extreme emotional distress her character is put through). The vibe of heightened intensity is made all-the-more palpable by the real-time, one-shot atmosphere, although it’s equally apparent that Novotny isn’t quite able to sustain the electrifying feel right through to the end – as the picture closes with a fairly anticlimactic stretch that isn’t as satisfying as one might’ve hoped. There’s nevertheless little doubt that Blind Spot stands as a thoroughly impressive accomplishment and debut feature, with the movie’s triumph on a purely technical level ultimately overshadowed by the powerful work from all its actors (some of whom, evidently, aren’t even professional performers!)

***1/2 out of ****

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