Pity those who have watched the Korean thriller Blind (2011) or its Tamil remake Netrikann, which came out on Disney+ Hotstar in 2021. For them, the impact of the Hindi version, also called Blind and premiered on JioCinema, is undermined by sheer familiarity.
Those who haven’t seen the original movie are in for a slick but unfeeling reworking, a weak heroine, a glowering villain, a charming secondary character, and an adorable guide dog. The setting is Glasgow, where police officer Gia (Sonam Kapoor Ahuja) loses her sight in an accident. Discouraged from re-joining work, Gia gets the chance to prove her sleuthing skills when she runs into a serial killer.
Introduced early in the film, the murderer known only as The Driver (Purab Kohli) torments Gia when not dispatching his victims in gruesome ways. Police investigator Prithvi (Vinay Pathak) takes Gia’s help in tracking down the antagonist. Their efforts are boosted by Nikhil (Shubham Saraf). Gia’s four-legged friend Elsa does her bit too.
The largely faithful remake is filmed clinically, perhaps too much so. While better-looking than the Tamil production, Blind is unable to drum up the emotional heft needed in portraying the crucial relationships that develop between Gia and Prithvi and Gia and Nikhil.
The most noteworthy performance is by Vinay Pathak, who brings charm and humour to his role. Sonam Kapoor Ahuja is restrained as Gia, but cannot summon the sheer force of will needed to convince us of her sightless heroine’s remarkable fight against a maniacal murderer.