To Confront The Demons.
Bier’s sci-fi horror is neither fictitious enough to be a sci-fi nor scary enough to be a horror, settling for a qualifying score, it is arguably a decent family drama. As rich and alluring the concept is, its implementation is equally disappointing. Ticking for more than two hours, if lopped off the over chewed material, their barely resides a worthy content of an hour. And it is without a question, the equation between Bullocks and her kids, which no matter how manipulative, rumbles you down with every possible impressive trick. And to balance the gained head start, it shucks down the sincerity for a complex drama by overstuffing it with multiple and eventually meaningless characters, and still the content never grows complex or even husky.
The mythological themed back story where this surviving spirit thrives upon, is left untouched and never is given a thorough explanation. In fact, even that too would have worked, if they would have sculpted the usual “horror” montage clips with an uncertainty kept alive in the screen to draw out the chills and thrills. Addition to that, the primary weakness of it, is the intangible tone which comes from the knack of creating a calculatively created multiple genre film, evidently in order to do so, it doesn’t make much sense; the second act where the jealousy and bickering gets in, the admirably attempted thriller isn’t just convincing enough to breed the crisp out of it.
The primary relationship of Bullocks and Rhodes is way too chalky to bubble up the tenderness it was aspired to have. With loftiness in conversation and a tiny bit of practicality, there is very less illumination in characters for us to care for them. As mentioned before, the ethical challenges that Bullocks is put upfront to, especially the boat sequences are even though flawed, thoroughly competent and engaging drama.
On terms of performance, Bullock makes sure she is the overprotective mother in every frame. Whether it is to care for someone in a supermarket or in a house shared with a stranger or in a boat sailing blindly over the river. In fact, the story itself offers a lot of “Sophie’s Choice” to rumble the viewers and fiddle with them emotionally. Malkovich as the practical and speculative supporter and a skeptical stranger, gets his moment to stand off. With a stereotypical content sized as a sticky note, the other cast is as anticipated, but the disappointment would be Rhodes who as a performer might have potential but as a character, well, not so much.
There are few sequences where the storytelling takes an uncalled detour like an intimate scene between Bullock and Rhodes, straining the threads on the boat sequences and over ridden emotions. On the other hand, the world at a critical stage as such is created with three dimensional perspective where even their too, are encouraging activities for the destruction which is imputed in narration smoothly. Bird Box, the ultimate seesaw of the discussion on where it lies, as an art there is a very little to work upon but as far as entertainment is concerned, it can be categorized as a guilty pleasure.