I hadn’t watched the trailer, nor did I read anything about this film, except that people liked it, and now I understand why.
There are so many great things about this movie, but there are also some red flags forgiveably ignored due to the raw and pure reactions of the human heart that this world and society has shaped it to be.
Many are in love with this film for a very simple reason, it is a beautiful, well-thought-out love story that leaves the audience content despite the absence of a “happy ending”. It was real; Real in the sense that if you put yourself in either characters’ positions, you would feel the same way as they did. That’s why it is deemed as more than a film, but an experience.
Many have criticized two things:
First, and most undeniably true, the film romanticized stalking, which is something that is inherently wrong. But like I said earlier, it has a tendency to be ignored or forgiven due to the raw and pure reactions of a human heart. Here stalking was reduced into merely “watching over” Lea. And I think it’s certain that everybody yearns for someone to watch over them, which is why many can forgive the stalking and see it as an action fueled by care with no bad intentions. But still, stalking can be fueled by a lot of different intentions, and none of them make this right. The reason why this was so easily forgiven was because this was unveiled vividly after Tonyo had died. And that all along, through following her everywhere she went, he was there during all the times that she needed someone. The note that led her to the beer garden, the drinking spree of the heart and the banana, and the moment she lost her sight. Through all of this he was able to fall in love with her from a distance, and all of this being revealed after his death made the stalking even more forgiveable, as it was heart-breakingly unfortunate, that he could not continue loving her, this time, without a wall between them.
Second, that he took advantage of her by finally coming into her life at her most vulnerable state. And that if it weren’t for this, they could not have fallen in love just over a period of two weeks. I, however, disagree. Love comes at any time, and in one way or another it will catch us with our own vulnerabilities, and jumping into love, is making yourself vulnerable in itself. Whether she was blind or not, happy or unhappy, I feel that the story would still have gone the same way. Blind or not, heartbroken or not, their adventures would still have been great adventures, their sharing of jokes would still have been funny, and their time together would still have been time well-spent. So no, they didn’t fall in love because, or despite of, the fact that she was lonely and blind. They simply fell in love. After all, love knows no disability, nor time, nor place.
Through the bad I mentioned above, I think I was also able to mention the good. Another great thing about this film is how the story revolved around the title from beginning till end without taking any detours. And I don’t think that I should even try to explain this, just because it isn’t something that should be conveyed by one person to another, but rather something that must be seen or experienced directly.
So yes, in its entirety, I really love this film. I don’t and will never condone stalking, and none of us should. But this I cannot deny; That in those 90 minutes, my human heart gave in.