La prunelle de mes yeux [The Apple of My Eye] (2016)

La prunelle de mes yeux
Director: Axelle Ropert
Writer: Axelle Ropert
Cast: Mélanie Bernier, Bastien Bouillon, Antonin Fresson, Chloé Astor, Swann Arlaud, Laurent Mothe
Part of: Scope100
Seen on: 17.12.2016

When Théo (Bastien Bouillon) meets Élise (Mélanie Bernier) in the elevator of his new apartment building, he doesn’t realize that she’s blind and thinks she’s absolutely ignoring him. They take an immediate dislike to each other. Théo wants to teach Élise a lesson, so he pretends to have gone blind himself and asks for her help to find his way in this to him new world – to which Élise agrees. And maybe they’ll find out that they like each other after all.

La prunelle de mes yeux is one of the worst, most offensive films I have ever seen. It is an ableist, sexist pile of shit that should never have been made. Had I seen it at the cinema instead of at home where I could let my frustration out, I would have walked out of the film.

The plot description alone should set off all your alarm bells – and trust me, all of them are chiming for a reason. There is, of course, the general Taming-of-the-Shrew-ness of the premise where a man has to make sure to completely destroy the uppity woman who dared not being nice to him. And when she’s broken accordingly, he proves himself the good guy by marrying her/becoming her boyfriend. It’s a disgusting plot and there is not the slightest deviation from this in this film.

Especially since Élise only “crime” is being slightly impolite to Théo because he didn’t realize that she was blind. As a result, he refuses to help her several times – because apparently she should have started the conversation with “Excuse me, I’m very sorry, but I’m blind and therefore totally helpless, please, please, would you be so kind to help me?” That alone would have been infuriating and we haven’t even started with the fact that Théo pretends to be blind afterwards.

Pretending to be disabled so that you may show an actually disabled person how unfriendly they were is already a fucking disgrace, but to then take up the disabled person’s time and energy to have them help you adjust to your new pretend-disability really is the icing on the cake. And because this is a romantic comedy, Élise has to forgive him for that so that they can live happily ever after. There’s literally no other reason than genre conventions for her to do that. He doesn’t redeem himself in the slightest – she’s the only one who has to change; change to suit him.

And the final disgrace to the entire thing is the way Élise’s blindness is portrayed. I doubt that anybody on the filming team actually ever spoke with a blind person or learned how they live (of course, Mélanie Bernier isn’t actually blind, I doubt any blind person would have wanted to be involved with this catastrophe had they been asked) because the helplessness Élise shows is ridiculous. One has to wonder how she survived to adulthood or is able to live alone. And that was just the final fuck you to anyone who watches the film and actually thinks that neither women, nor disabled people, nor – heavens forbid – disabled women are a joke.

Summarizing: No, hell no and fuck no!

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