Emma (Madeleine Stowe) made blind by her mother gets a donor after twenty years. She gets her vision and it is not the spectacular five second blurry to lucid sight but a partial amoebic two dimensional view. Apted has worked very hard to make this a visual a mix of staying high sober. In the mean time a killer is on the loose and Emma happens to accidentally wake up middle of the night and may have got a sight of him. She goes to the cops and meets Detective Hallstrom (Aidan Quinn) who at the starting scene of the film strips naked drunk to get an attention from the then blind Emma playing violin with her band. The cops hear and for once it makes complete sense on them backing off on this suspicious occurrence by a person who is learning to see. Added to that she has hallucinations and delayed correlation. This adds to the riddle.
But this is about Emma more than the killer. She has not seen her face or her friends and her only definition of beauty is in her music. Appearance does not make sense and her scale of reference for it needs to be learned or need to give a definition on it. It is a strange feeling and Apted plays with the psychological imbalance in this new world of vision. She struggles to identify the reality. Stowe’s Emma is tomboyish who has been on her own, in control and mainly institutionalized to darkness. This is a drastic change and more than guidance it becomes a hindrance in creating the doubt which never found its place in the blackness. She is puzzled and dissipates her confidence. And she for a small part blames herself for the new eyes as she could have been more alert and saved her neighbour a floor above.
The film toys with these feelings and then inserts the clues as a slice of cheese while Emma has this sexual tension with Halstrom. Halstrom at first is a mechanical and clinical detective over his victims. When he analyzes his first victim, he mercilessly jokes talking to her and if that would have been left out there, the chance of seeing this character have a better side would have been obsolete. But watch what his colleague Ridgely (James Remar) has to say and that completes the scene. He acknowledges our reaction towards this insensitive cop but the expression on it says that his friend has sensible side and asks us to wait for it. The scenes with his colleague and his lieutenant (Bruce A. Young) especially are on the edge, funny and smirk and tell that writing is everything in this screenplay.
The electricity in between Quinn and Stowe is sensual and seductive. And when there is a spark to develop into an erotic experience, Halstrom stops and unbelievably it is real and makes complete sense of his action. It does not last long as Stowe’s character says that it is matter of time before he surrenders. A cop falling for key witness is not unusual but the attitude of these two individuals who are the replica of each other is bound to happen. Emma has always been in control of her relationship with men while Halstrom is some one who knows when some one does that over him. And the situation circling them to fall for each other is customary detail but true to their character. Quinn and Stowe see eye to eye and have the control their character carry on.
“Blink” is an ordinary thriller with classic writing and an unavoidable ending to put us off. It is as if there was no choice than to succumb to the acts of the film making seasoned forever in this genre. I felt that this is the only ending they would have met with and forgive them for it. But I got thinking, the whole film is a regular fair of events in a thriller and they managed to make it crisp and clean and it made me rethink the position of mine towards the ending. It could have been done a lot better for their capability. Regardless, Apted and writer Dana Stevens work around fastidious details on the character and move away the focus from the killer to the characters. It is simply beautiful to see that happening and it is saddening when they slip off a bit over the end.