The Blind Man Who Did Not Want To See Titanic features a man who has never watched James Cameron’s Oscar-winning epic. The irony is that fate sets him on a journey just as thrilling, eventful and dangerous as the ship’s infamous voyage.
Jaakko and Sirpa have never met face to face but talk on the phone every day. When he hears about her declining health, he decides to go meet her in another city. There is only one problem. Jaako is visually impaired and stuck in a wheelchair. A man on a mission, this film fan finds himself on an adventure just as wild as anything in the Hollywood movies he loves so much.
It is impossible not to warm to Jaako and be completely invested in his plight. Even if his reasoning for not watching Titanic is a little suspect. Like the character, actor Petri Poikolainen also has MS, is virtually blind and needs to use a wheelchair. Not only does he bring authenticity to the role but also infectious personality and lust for life. Despite everything he has been through, he still has a positive outlook on life and a wicked sense of humour.
Director Teemu Nikki makes excellent use of cinematography and lighting to put the audience firmly in Jaako’s shoes. Everything is viewed through his perspective. While his face is in clear focus, everything else in the frame is blurred, echoing what he sees (or cannot see to be more accurate). When he suffers a fall, the camera does not move away, scanning the horizon for help. It stays on him and viewers feel every inch of his pain and struggle. It paints the world as an unfamiliar, scary place. One that is full of unseen dangers and peril around every corner. A world where Jaako must rely on his quick wits and encyclopaedic film knowledge to survive.
‘There is a thin line that separates laughter and pain, comedy and tragedy, humor and hurt.’ Nikki manages to delicately traverse that tightrope, buoyed by Poikolainen’s sensational performance.
The blind man may not have wanted to see Titanic but everyone should watch this immersive, uplifting must-see film.
Drama/Comedy | Finland 2021 | Unrated | Dir. Teemu Nikki | Petri Poikolainen, Marjaana Maijala, Samuli Jaskio
The Blind Man Who Did Not Want to See Titanic (N/C15) GFF 2022 Remaining Screening: 4th March 2022