It is said that if we lose one of our senses, another will become enhanced. Well, I wear glasses to help with my eyesight and I haven’t experienced any enhancements thus far! Be that as it may, In Darkness tells the story of a blind woman who hears the death of her upstairs neighbor and relies on sounds to paint a picture of the world around her. Natalie Dormer (HBO’s Game of Thrones) does fantastic work playing a woman who lost her vision at a young age. She finds ways to get around, make a living and wonder about the circumstances over the death of the woman above.
Director Anthony Byrne, who co-wrote the film with Dormer, has crafted a beautiful looking film. The opening sequence and the daily activities of Sofia (Dormer), a pianist who works with an orchestra, are remarkable. The opening sequence involves a murder of a woman, but surprisingly the camera backs away to reveal it’s a movie that the orchestra is scoring. This brought me back to the excellent thriller called Blowout, a movie about a sound effects man whose life is thrown into a terrible mix, just like Sofia is about to experience. Her neighbor Veronique (Emily Ratajkowski) has a unique accent that we can’t quite place, wears lovely perfume that Sofia compliments and seems like a nice lady. Fast-forward a couple of moments and poor Veronique is dead. Was she thrown from her apartment or did she jump? Sofia hears noise from above to suggest that something happened.
That is what I’m going to leave you with in terms of the plot because what ensues is a mystery that really surprised me. All you need to know is that Sofia heard something that caught her attention and that her life is thrown into a mix of violence and surprising revelations that I can’t reveal. You may be surprised yourself. I will mention two important characters in this story. One is Marc (Ed Skrein), a man who seems to be involved in the death of Veronique and wants to make sure that Sofia doesn’t know anything. We also have Detective Inspector Mills (Neil Maskell) who’s been assigned to the case and is asking questions himself.
I always enjoy watching a powerful female presence on the screen and Dormer does a great job in not only portraying that character, she created her as well. She’s isn’t like Daredevil, a secret badass who can kick some butt. She’s blind, alone and is vulnerable. As I mentioned earlier, there are plot points in this movie that I can’t reveal, but man am I glad that I didn’t see a trailer prior to watching this. I was surprised and hooked right from the beginning.
Verdict 4 out of 5
In Darkness offers a wonderful performance from Dormer and a mystery that is just as engaging. It’s a slow burning story that doesn’t rush to things. I love the style that Byrne brings to the table — a focus on what you hear instead of what you see. He has also added several action sequences that remind me of Atomic Blonde in some sense and an underlying tone that seeing isn’t exactly believing. Dormer is the heart of the show and her role here is exceptional. I only wonder, since Dormer and Byrne are engaged, if they will work together again, because In Darkness is one film that has a lot of things up its sleeve. Some of its content may disturb some people, but overlook some of those things and you’ll be in for a unique and eye-catching treat — just don’t forget to listen, too.