Review: The Blind Man Who Did Not Want to See Titanic | SXSW 2022

Score: B+

Director: Teemu Nikki

Cast: Petri Poikolainen, Marjaana Maijala, Samuli Jaskio, Rami Rusinen

Running Time: 82 Minutes

Rated: NR

The Blind Man Who Did Not Want to See Titanic has no interest in being a typical inspirational drama about living with a disability. At different times it's a romantic comedy, a thriller, and a character study. But it's never plucking hard on your heartstrings. It's moving because writer-director Teemu Nikki has crafted a compelling story with a terrific lead performance from newcomer Petri Poikolainen.

The Finnish actor plays Jaakko, who's lost his sight and much of his mobility to multiple sclerosis. What he hasn't lost is his sense of humor, determination, and love of movies. He can dissect the works of John Carpenter with ease, and refers to his nurse as Annie Wilkes. And he's held onto his massive DVD collection, returning to certain films as comfort watches. But a day that should be joyous turns into one of the most challenging experiences of his life.

After winning big in a game of Keno, he calls up Sirpa, his girlfriend who he's never met in person. Disregarding that he hasn't gone anywhere unaccompanied in years, Jaakko plots out his journey from his house to the train station, where he'll ride to her city and watch Titanic, even though he prefers James Cameron's action films. But he finds himself in an action movie of his own when he's abducted by a fellow passenger, forced to use his wits and humor to survive.

To say anymore would spoil the film, but it's surprising, thoughtful and moving. That makes The Blind Man Who Did Not Want to See Titanic a must-see!


About Kip Mooney

Kip Mooney
Like many film critics born during and after the 1980s, my hero is Roger Ebert. The man was already the best critic in the nation when he won the Pulitzer in 1975, but his indomitable spirit during and after his recent battle with cancer keeps me coming back to read not only his reviews but his insightful commentary on the everyday. But enough about a guy you know a lot about. I knew I was going to be a film critic—some would say a snob—in middle school, when I had to voraciously defend my position that The Royal Tenenbaums was only a million times better than Adam Sandler’s remake of Mr. Deeds. From then on, I would seek out Wes Anderson’s films and avoid Sandler’s like the plague. Still, I like to think of myself as a populist, and I’ll be just as likely to see the next superhero movie as the next Sundance sensation. The thing I most deplore in a movie is laziness. I’d much rather see movies with big ambitions try and fail than movies with no ambitions succeed at simply existing. I’m also a big advocate of fun-bad movies like The Room and most of Nicolas Cage’s work. In the past, I’ve written for The Dallas Morning News and the North Texas Daily, which I edited for a semester. I also contributed to Dallas-based Pegasus News, which in the circle of life, is now part of The Dallas Morning News, where I got my big break in 2007. Eventually, I’d love to write and talk about film full-time, but until that’s a viable career option, I work as an auditor for Wells Fargo. I hope to one day meet my hero, go to the Toronto International Film Festival, and compete on Jeopardy. Until then, I’m excited to share my love of film with you.