Perception, fantasy, as well as a healthy dose of tragedy populates the world of Love Is Blind, a romantic drama with a rather intriguing premise. Bess (Shannon Tarbet) is a 24-year-old living her dad (Matthew Broderick) in New York’s Hudson Valley. Suffering from “selective perception,” she is unable to see her mother (Chloe Sevigny), whom she believes passed away years ago. Director Monty Whitebloom talked to us about his intricately woven feature whose strengths lie in the performances of Tarbet and co-stars Benjamin Walker and Aidan Turner.
Directors Monty Whitebloom and Andy Delaney shot Love Is Blind for nineteen days in Upstate New York. Making an independent project is usually not an overnight process, and though the production finished back in 2015, it is finally seeing the light of day.
“Basically why it took so long from it being finished to it being released is, I think, the machinations with what has happened with the film business,” said Whitebloom. “I think it’s a combination of independent cinema being much, much harder to release.”
Love Is Blind is anchored by Shannon Tarbet’s performance as Bess, a woman who, along with being unable to see her mom, is caught up in a complex relationship with Farmer (Benjamin Walker), an eccentric soul who is also her psychiatrist. Aidan Turner (Poldark) is Russell, a suicidal construction worker who befriends Farmer as he’s tearing down the building next door. Although Russell immediately falls head over heels for Bess, she is also unable to see him.
Although she was a relative neophyte to feature films, Tarbet struck up an immediate connection with Whitebloom.
“Before I even met Shannon, I spoke to her on the telephone and I didn’t ask her to do a reading for me, but she took it upon herself to do a reading of her own,” said Whitebloom. “She did not only her character but everyone else’s character as well, and I was just blown away by her. I thought she was riveting and translucent and she captured (Bess’) naivete and incredible power altogether. Quite frankly, some of the producers were keen on other actors who were more well known, but I thought she was amazing and think she’s going to be a star. She was awesome.”
The idea of not being able to see certain people gives Love Is Blind an interesting construct, and thankfully Whitebloom decided to craft a film that isn’t an innocuous and ultimately predictable tale. Although the feature may have a sliver of happiness that can be found in sunnier romantic features, Love Is Blind is a surprisingly complex and uncompromising look at three deeply flawed individuals (Bess, Farmer, and Russell).
“I wanted Love Is Blind to have a significant edge to the characters and their relationships and how they deal with each other that left lots of questions and made you enjoy it and deal with it in a simple way,” added Whitebloom. “But at the same time, after finishing viewing it, you can have a big argument about the movie on what it was about. There are a lot of different ways you can see it and (the story) is not just handed on a plate.”
Love Is Blind is now in theaters and is available on Digital and On Demand.