Proof (1991) Review


Verdict: Startling

Creative story with good acting.

Review

Martin (Hugo Weaving) is born blind, and takes photographs in order to reconcile what he senses with what others see. Celia (Genevieve Picot) is hired by Martin to be his housekeeper, though throughout her servitude to him she has also gained an infatuation on the brink of obsession. Martin meets Andy (Russell Crowe) one day, and soon become fast friends. Directed by Jocelyn Moorhouse.

The story of a blind photographer is certainly an interesting one. The film doesn’t show us how Martin makes a living, but he does seem to live quite a comfortable life. The reason he photographs is so he can have proof that what he thinks is out there corresponds to what people describe to him from his photos. This is what Andy mainly does at the beginning. Martin gives him photographs, and Andy describes them to him which Martin can then label. However, the flaw about this is how can Martin possible remember each photograph he takes? Either he would forget at least the majority of the pictures he takes at any day, so when he goes to develop them he wouldn’t really know where they are from. Or, after he has labelled them and revisits them, how would he remember what the words mean in relation to the photograph? There is no time or place assigned to the feel or words of the label, which is especially hard to achieve without visual aids (unless he has ‘photographic memory’).

Weaving does a pretty good job at his character, and you can definitely get the sense of his character’s dry wit. The tension between him and Celia is one I find very awkward, especially as Celia is always coming on to him. In this way, Picot does a great job with her character, depicting someone whose whole world is centred on this one person. I also enjoy the way she would randomly disrupt furniture pieces so that Martin would bump into them later. It’s just so unnecessary and done out of spite that makes it laugh out loud worthy. Crowe as well does great, and his relationship with Weaving is well elaborated and depicted. There are essentially the three characters of this film, and they all interweave in each other’s life in drastic ways, producing sound character development.

However, the film moves at quite a slow pace, and there are countless scenes in which the characters just stare at each other in silence- or in Martin’s case, sit in silence. This somewhat adds intensity to the film (dark humour), and at the same time makes it uncomfortable and awkward to watch.

The story is well told, and the editing, cinematography and directing all nicely come together. The set designs – especially of Celia’s apartment, tells a lot of the character. I wish there would have been more to Martin’s place that could have depicted more of who his character was. Other than that, his dog is cute, and its disappearance on daily walks for a few minutes is the main mystery Martin wishes to solve.

Overall, the film definitely tells an interesting story, but is a little weird. I wouldn’t watch it again, or outright recommend it for others to watch.

To sum-up:
PROS: Acting, character development, story, set
CONS: Awkward/ dark humour, photographic memory

I give this a 7/10.

Have you seen Proof? Rate it out of 5 stars above or leave a comment below!

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