I liked the movie just fine, but I haven’t read the book so I have no idea how close it is. Big help, huh? As a Fernando Meirelles movie, it’s, IMO, nowhere near the level of City of God (which I would rate a 10) or even The Constant Gardner (which I’d give an 8), so I’d give it about a 6 on first viewing, and that’s mainly because I am Meirelles, Julianne Moore, Mark Ruffalo and Gael Garcia Bernal’s bitch (should I have put an 's after all of those? I always forget).
It’s very intense, edge-of-your-seat stuff on first viewing, that’s for sure. I don’t know if a second viewing, knowing the outcome, would raise or lower my number. I might see it again just to find out, because I suspect it would raise. I suppose I was thrown by the fact that even though this was a worldwide plague, the movie is very insular and only focuses on a few characters. Which is ok, because I know I shouldn’t judge a movie based on what I wanted to see (specifically, how the rest of the world was faring) and be happy with using my imagination to figure out what was going on, which had to have been pretty freaking horrible.
I read that some blind groups are protesting the movie, which is silly, as most protests are. They don’t seem to like how they think blind people are portrayed, which I can’t really go into if we’re not spoiling anything, but what they’re protesting makes perfect sense in the movie, and they don’t seem to be getting some very important points about why the people act the way they do, which is par for the course when it comes to groups protesting movies they haven’t seen to judge for themselves. Yeah, of course I know that blind people can’t see the movie, but they are seemingly relying on what some sighted person told them happens, minus important details. I have a blind friend who goes to the movies all the time and I know he’ll go to this. I’m looking forward to hearing what he thinks.