Touch (2024)

Touch Review


I didn’t exactly ‘watch’ or ‘see’ the movie like normal, but it was hands down the best film I’ve ever heard.

Using only audio, Touch is a ‘film without pictures’ made to be enjoyed by everyone, however it was specifically created to allow people who are blind or have low vision to participate in cinema.

Now you might be thinking, so is Touch just a long-feature podcast? Technically yes, it is purely audio and there are no visuals. But let me tell you – it’s the best audio experience I’ve ever had, and it definitely felt like more than just a podcast.

Research from YouGov found that 32 per cent of Aussies who are blind or low-vision experience barriers that stop them from watching and listening to movies.

And almost two in three do not feel represented in films, movies and TV shows.

Touch was dreamt up by Mastercard in partnership with Australian bank Westpac. The film relies on sound, music, carefully crafted dialogue and expressive actors to tell the story of a scientist trapped deep inside his father’s brain after a lab experiment gone wrong.

The plot goes as follows.

The scientist’s son tries to improve his dad’s mood and happiness by experimenting on his brain. What could possibly go wrong? It’s sci-fi with bits of comedy dotted in between. Suddenly when the machine he’s created malfunctions, the son becomes trapped in his dad’s brain, adventuring through different sections to find his way back to reality.

There’s childhood memories where a younger version of his dad resides think strings of old western music playing in the background. There’s the prison part of his brain which stores all the pain including the loss of his wife. Then there’s hope an entire section filled with hopes and aspirations within his dad’s brain.

Look I don’t want to spoil the ending so I’ll just say there’s lots of love, realisations and a delightful fable-type synopsis to wrap it all up if you will.

Before the film started, the director had one suggestion for the audience members who aren’t blind or low-vision, like myself. It was to experience Touch with your eyes closed.

Saying it would be a “richer and fuller experience” to do it eyes shut, I thought why not. Yes there were times when my eyes did pop open and I recalibrated my surroundings.

But for the most part I sat back, relaxed, closed my eyes and listened.

And it’s designed specifically for this all the speakers are perfectly positioned around the audience, making you feel like you’re inside and amongst the film rather than just a spectator.

Director Attachment and blind actor Ben Phillips says having an advisory role during this experience was pivotal in ensuring this film could be enjoyed strongly by all. “It’s amazing to have created a film that makes us feel included. Touch not only achieves inclusion but also equality,” he says.

“We are making history, and the film will change lives around world. Why? Because stories should be shared with all people of all abilities. This proves inclusion doesn’t have to be hard – it can be simple and easy.”

According to Tony Krawitz, the director: “It is a movie without images. Commonly, it is sound that comes later and picture that comes first; this time we had to turn things around completely from the script through the actors to working with sound designers and composers. What do you hear and how are you guided by sound through a story?”

To finish everything off, all money made from tickets was donated to Blind Citizens Australia. When the film ended and pathway lights in the cinema were switched back on while audio was stopped playing, many people stayed still for some time.

There were tears in some people’s eyes especially in those of one woman who was sitting with her visually impaired mother. It seemed like they were having a quiet shared moment together; something they rarely get to experience equally. Others smiled and nodded at their neighbors about what an interesting thing it had been.

For someone with perfect vision like me being taken on such a magical journey only by my ears makes it an incredibly unique event.

This is a movie I will remember forever.

Watch Touch For Free On Gomovies.

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