Warning: This post may contain some spoilers! Proceed at your own risk.
As we come to the end of 2018, Netflix’s new original movie Bird Box is a hot topic right now… and for good reason. Sandra Bullock and Sarah Paulson put on really great performances, along with the rest of the cast; some new (and not so new) faces and a couple of pretty high caliber actors sprinkled throughout.
But whether you loved it, or hated it, I think we can all agree that it was pretty much just a TL;DR of this past year. Why?
1. We figured it would be really weird… and it was.
Just like Bird Box’s kind-of-relevant but really bizarre opening scenes, this year started off… well, weird. Judging from the happenings of 2016 and 2017, I think we all pretty much figured 2018 would also have some exciting (read: terrifying) events unfold. Bird Box swiftly moves from one edgy, confusing scene to the next, with not much in terms of unnecessary dialogue or character-building. This is pretty similar to the record low temperatures in January, new rules for medical and recreational marijuana, tragic natural disasters around the world, and the increasingly strange and unpredictable U.S presidency in 2018. At the end of the movie (and end of the year) we’re left exhausted, confused and not sure what to do next.
2. We had no idea what was going on. Like, at all.
Firstly, refer to reason number one. Secondly, I won’t lie, Bird Box left me scratching my head. Why birds? What exactly were the monsters? What in the world is happening, and how? Not so dissimilar from the overarching feeling of being tired and puzzled throughout, and especially at the end, of 2018. How did Malorie go from contently painting alone in her apartment to blindly running from monsters she can’t see just a few years later? How did she survive that long anyway? And why is it that we are left literally doing the exact same thing?
3. The characters were relatable. And then they were gone.
Just as we started to really like Charlie, the endearingly geeky supermarket associate, he had to go do some crazy stuff and get himself killed. From George H.W Bush and John McCain, to Paul Allen, Burt Reynolds, and Mac Miller; we lost a lot of big names this year in real life, too. As if Stan Lee’s passing wasn’t heart-breaking enough, in the movie a certain someone had to take off their blindfold to sacrifice themselves and… well, way to kick us while we’re already down, Netflix.
4. The “crazies” made life unnecessarily difficult.
Now, if you’ve seen Bird Box, you know what kind of crazies I’m talking about here. But if you haven’t checked it out yet, and you’re just along for the ride, let me explain; I am not referring to those with mental health conditions by any means. I’m referring to the brainwashed, creepy, and somewhat violent characters that tried to get in our protagonist’s way…how many times? Too many. If that’s not a nod to the self-proclaimed “Alt Right” movement, or even just our wholly separate and confusing political bases, then I’m not sure what is. All I know, is that it makes life harder and more irritating, one encounter at a time.
5. Everyone’s been talking about it, but no one really agrees on anything.
I’m pretty sure I’ve heard every possible explanation of Bird Box so far. Some say it was a virus akin to that of The Walking Dead or 28 Days Later. Others say biological warfare, and still others are sure it was some kind of environmentally triggered mental illness from some Rorschach nightmare. Some say it was amazing, and other say it was terrible. I can’t say I’ve really made a definite decision about the quality and premise of the movie, or what the monsters actually were. But I’m already exhausted from the sheer amount of civil unrest over almost everything that’s gone on this past year. So, I’m pretty willing to accept whatever theories are out there at this point, and I’m sure I’m not alone in that.
6. We’re still not sure what MGK had to do with anything.
Alright, so maybe I wasn’t completely honest about the last reason. I think there is one thing we can all agree on; what the Hell was MGK doing in there? I mean, with all due respect, he may have been reaching out into other fields of performance art and trying his hand at acting. But the lack of substantial dialogue and character-development shows otherwise. Just as the real-life MGK threw out a few off-handed comments, was reprimanded, and then disappeared… his character was pretty much just a mirror image of his 2018. And judging by all the memes out there, we still don’t get it.
7. It was totally unrealistic. Or so we thought.
People being brainwashed by the masses by some invisible or far away force and then intentionally putting themselves in the line of fire? Seems pretty far off and impossible. But if you really think about it, it seems like people are becoming more and more antsy, aggravated, and even reckless these days. And by the look of it, the mind-control aspect isn’t as unrealistic as we thought. I’ll let you make your own judgement about that part, though.
8. The main character was aloof and didn’t seem to enjoy being there at all.
As much as we want to relate with the main characters of books and movies, sometimes its not as easy to do as we may have hoped. Malorie, while understandable, really isn’t that relatable of a character, except in one major way; she did not want to be there. At all. She really seemed miserable throughout the film, which we can all sympathize with. The Bird Box universe isn’t exactly one that any of us would willingly throw ourselves into. Then again, 2018 wasn’t really all that Utopic either. So, in the end, there really is a little bit of Malorie in all of us.
9. We’re all struggling to thrive, but we keep on keeping on.
Maybe there’s something else all of us can relate with Malorie on; she did whatever she had to do to survive. From running blindly through the woods (and tripping over pretty much everything), to braving rapids in probably the oldest and most decrepit little boat ever, she kept going. No matter what. This year really hasn’t been all that different from those scenes in Bird Box. We’ve been through civil and political unrest, financial and economic hardships, and even widespread moral dilemmas, but at the end of the day… we’re all doing what we’ve got to, to survive.
10. It didn’t end like we thought it would, but that wasn’t such a bad thing.
Alright, so maybe the final scenes of Bird Box were unexpected, and some might even say disappointing. But all of that tension and anxiety that the movie so easily brought us was at least relieved by the end of the film. No more blindfolds! It wasn’t exactly how most of us would have pictured it but hey, we survived, right? That anxiety certainly wasn’t new to anyone watching the film, unless they lived under a rock for the past year or so. But let’s hope the end of 2018 brings that same relief, even temporarily. God knows we could use it.
What did you think about Netflix’s Bird Box? Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments or send me a message with your opinion.
Oh, and Happy New Year. Hopefully there won’t be any more invisible monsters involved.