BirdBox (2019) Movie Review: Came Very Close To depicting the Term ‘depression’

Hey, everyone!
I know it’s a bit late but one is never too late to wish well. So, here we go, belated Merry Christmas and a happy New Year 2019!

The usual theme of holidays is ‘family’ and this movie, Birdbox, which was released around a month before Christmas and New years dives into the concept of solitude and affection, which actually enhances the festive spirit but in a more intense fashion rather than in a happy or a cheerful manner, which made watching this movie more interesting.

Watch the movie trailer:

  • Director: Susanne Bier
  • Screenplay: Eric Heisserer
  • Story By: Josh Malerman
  • Malorie: Sandra Bullock
  • Girl/Olympia: Vivien Lyra Blair
  • Boy/Tom: Julian Edwards
  • Douglas: John Malkovich
  • Release Date: 14 December 2018

The concepts of loneliness and togetherness are a polar opposite of one another, and this movie does a brilliant work to highlight those two extremes. For instance, the unknown entity that haunts the world, in this movie, is symbolic of the ‘unknown reasons’ that haunts the people with depression, in the real world. Though like the real world, the characters in the movie try to rationalize these unknown entities by calling it a ‘Demon’ but fail to provide a concrete explanation.

Personally, I love Sandra Bullock’s acting, and it was amazing to see her perform in this movie. Honestly, though I enjoy her comic performances like in the movies Miss Congeniality and The Proposal, I appreciate her performance a little more in serious roles, such as in the movie Speed, and this one, Birdbox. I would blame my inclination of enjoying seeing her in serious roles on her debut film, The Speed, as that was my first impression, and I am bit biased towards it. Like in Speed, here too her character (Malorie) needs to be brave as she faces life crisis due to the mass suicide, which people are committing after looking at an unknown entity. Her character here is a survivor but she also needs to express the right amount of vulnerability and nervousness, and admit that things are not always in her control. According to me, Sandra Bullock brings out the essence of such roles where there is a need for strength and the right amount of vulnerability. Other supporting actor and actress also nailed their performances, especially the two kids; the Girl (Vivien Lyra Blair) and the Boy (Julian Edwards).

Furthermore, this movie has a unique style of narration. It does not have a linear, chronological progression nor does it move back and forth with reference to a particular event. It is like the narrator holds the ends of a rope and starts to move his fingers towards the middle, the place where his fingers meet the story ends. This style of narration, I think, works best with the polar extreme themes of this movie, that is solitude and affection.

The way Susanne Bier has directed the movie adds a heavy undertone to its theme, and also, play a huge part in enhancing its narration. Sandra Bullock, in one of her interviews, revealed that she was actually blindfolded, and had really tripped over the dry branches, protruding roots of the trees and rocks as seen in the movie. She also said that it was done to make it seem more real. Further, every shot seemed patiently directed and shot. One can see and observe the minute details that enhance the depth of each character in regard to their respective context. The transition of scenes was also very smoothly handled and didn’t seem confusing. In fact, after a point, the viewer could predict where the narrator would take him/her, however, that didn’t interfere with the suspense aspect of the movie.

Now, the main question, is this movie worth a watch? My answer is: yes. I liked the way this movie expresses the concerns of our modern lives and demonstrates its problems in an exaggerated and a thrilling manner. I am sure, most of us would be able to connect to Malorie, who has withdrawn within herself. And, has a distant relationship with her family and generally with people. I liked how this movie pointed out the nature of people in today’s time and age. People, nowadays, are only interested in superficial connections and are not interested in knowing people thoroughly. Another thing that I liked about this movie is the innovative use of current technology in the hypothetical world of an apocalypse.

Give this movie a try and I hope, you enjoy watching it!

If you like my movie choices and my opinion on them, then please, don’t forget to follow and be updated about our upcoming blogs. Also, comment below: Do you agree with the message of this movie that focuses on redefining one’s concept of ‘family’?

Writer: Deepika Bhaduri
About: Movie Anatomie

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