Brock's Inspiring Life
Both Joan (Carey Lowell) and her husband Joe (Rod Wilson) work at the Iowa Braille School helping to teach blind children how to live and deal with their disability. So when Joan suddenly loses her sight from a mysterious macula-degeneration condition which usually affects old people Joan is able to deal with the basics of being blind better than most. It doesn't come with out problems as it puts a strain on her marriage to Joe and when he is diagnosed with a tumour which claims his life it changes things for ever as Joan and their daughter Joy (Jennifer Pisana) are forced to relocate closer to her parents. Whilst initially struggling with losing what little independence she had Joan sets about picking up the pieces of her life once again as meets old school friend Jim (Dylan Walsh).
To me "More Than Meets the Eye: The Joan Brock Story" is a movie with two objectives; firstly to tell the story of Joan Brock and secondly to use Brock's story to inspire the audience. Now I have never heard of Joan Brock, a point which I am sure I am not alone in saying, and I would hazard a guess that Brock's story as told in this movie is one which has been manipulated to work as entertainment and to have impact. What I mean is at times the movie doesn't flow, we will jump from Joan struggling to deal with losing her sight to then appearing to be dealing with it or from meeting Jim again after a long time then for him to be romancing her. There is not denying the episodic editing is annoying but seeing there is a lot of story crammed in to "More Than Meets the Eye: The Joan Brock Story" I can understand why it was done.
Now whilst it would have been nicer to see more flow in "More Than Meets the Eye: The Joan Brock Story" there is the other side to the movie and that is its inspirational side. And it is inspiring not only to watch how Joan managed to use what she knew to help live with her disability but also turn all those experiences into something useful but in the sheer fact she played the cards she was dealt. It is that side of thing, watching Joan carry on and trying to live a full life rather than just giving up which is why it achieves that feeling of being inspirational for those who watch it.
The issues with "More Than Meets the Eye: The Joan Brock Story" lacking some flow also brings issues with the actual portrayal of Joan because whilst Carey Lowell for the most does a good job of playing a blind woman there are times where all of a sudden she does something as if she could see. It doesn't spoil the movie when this happens but you do spot it which is a shame as beyond that issue Lowell does a nice job and makes the characters of Joan feel real rather than just an actress playing a character.
What this all boils down to is that "More Than Meets the Eye: The Joan Brock Story" was a pleasant surprise because whilst not a great movie for a movie about a person I had never heard of it did keep me interested. It also did what it set out to do and that was to inspire which made up for some of the various issues and occasional overly sentimental scenes.