A good movie prompts us to think. Similar to this principle a review portrayal can evoke different perceptions based on people’s reflection of self. Bird Box, based on a 2014 post-apocalyptic novel by Josh Malerman that was adapted for the screen by Eric Heisserer and was steered by Susanne Bier, fitted the best accomplishing film in the Netflix history. It is a thriller about a supernatural entity that, when people see it, forces the person to kill themselves. These creatures were most likely a religion-related epidemic, brought upon by the humanity itself. A relevant label attached to these creatures are “fallen angels” or most ordinarily known as demons. In the bible, demons are represented as creatures so conceptually foul and inherently incorrect that humans would simply go insane and crazy had they ever been subject to directly looking at such an improper and impossible oriented entity. In the flick, havoc created by these creatures is pretty evident. Those who grasp even the slightest glimpse of the ‘creatures’ are instantly driven mad, speedily taking their own life. Sandra Bullock stars as Malorie, who’s tasked with saving two children from the entity. Blindfolded, they traverse a desolate American town (and a whole river) to find a safe haven. The film hops back and forth in time, taking us from When The Shit Goes Down five years ago to the birth of the children to their journey out of town. Although the film matched a light-hearted meme sensation but has evoked a serious desire for thought over mental illness among viewers pondering the deeper meaning of the movie. There are mental health lessons learned throughout the film Involving trigger for mental health themes such as anxiety, trauma, self-harm, and suicidality. Perpetuating negative portrayals of individuals living with mental health concerns, particularly those who are hospitalized.
1. Negligence towards Mental Health
How society deals with mental health is the underlying monster in the movie. Simply pretending to not to pay heed to important issues surrounding mental health and the stigmas placed on people dealing with mental issues, does not minimize the gravity of the problem.
This movie exceptionally linked monsters, though metaphorically, with people suffering from mental illness becoming literal agents of evil, obsessed with carrying a monster’s mission to destroy humanity. Who wants everyone else to witness and experience what it’s like to want to take your own life and overhear voices in your head. Thus monsters are suicide and mental illness personified. Sounds fancy and Fanatical, but truly it isn’t one.
2. Suicide/ Self Harm
Suicide and mental illness does not have a face and aren’t foreseen and anticipated. In the present day, we witness instances of people exemplifying suicidal tendencies before taking their own life. The stigma attached to suicide and mental illness often provokes people to hide those feeling rather talk about it freely and openly. In the hustling world, nobody is concerned about what the other is feeling or have time to ponder upon them. Similarly in the movie, almost all characters are noticed dealing with grief to some degree. Suicide does not affect just the victim, but also the people nearby them.
“We’re kind of going to that place where we’re not looking at people anymore. We’re all very remote and isolated”.
3. Fears that come with becoming a parent
Malorie, the protagonist is portrayed as a fierce mother who did not even name her children until they reach a safe haven. Only when Malorie believes they’re safe does she feel that she can exert this more conventional step. Flashback to the early days of Malorie’s unwillingness to acknowledge her pregnancy and expressing her fear of becoming a mother, worried that she might not bond with her child. Is not naming them in any sense correspond to protect her “motherly fears” or to keep herself from getting too attached with her kids and having something terrible happen?
Thus, in conformity with this, bird box does highlights a major theme elucidating Malorie’s learning to accept that she is a parent along with all the fears that come within a post-apocalyptic world. Seemingly in agreement, Dani Di Placido formulated for Forbes, “ It’s pretty evident from the outset that the film is about the psychological struggles of parenthood.”
Hope is what kindled the protagonist’s journey to safety. It’s portrayed that those unseen creatures take the form of dead relatives or something terrifying, or even attractive. They seem to vary depending on who is looking; they are vague, their agenda meaningless. Despite the odds, Malorie victoriously resists the urge to gaze into the abyss, and pulls off a miraculous success story, bringing her new family to a place where they can thrive.
Bird Box’ as a new entry into the old-fashioned 1950s monster movie genre, quite resonates with the fears of what social media is doing to our brains. By putting on the blindfolds, the characters of ‘Bird Box’ are shielded from the monsters, which are the impacts of social media.
Storyline beautifully displays how everyday people may be battling against their demons and how the person you’d least suspect may have suicidal thoughts and suffer from mental illness.