The apocalyptic horror-thriller Bird Box starring Sandra Bullock and directed by Susanne Bier was one of the huge hits on Netflix in 2018. But even now, after several years since its premiere, Bird Box attracts public attention and raises many questions, such as
– Who or what was the monster in the film?
– What is that movie really about?
– Is there a clear explanation of the end of the movie?
Let`s take a look and try to answer these questions.
SPOILER ALERT! THE FOLLOWING TEXT REVEALS DETAILS OF THE STORYLINE OF THE FILM.
Bird Box tells the story of the painter Malorie Hayes, who is pregnant, but doesn`t really want to have a baby. Malorie is definitely not going to have an abortion because it`s too late, but the child in her womb feels like an alien to her (by the way, there is a theory that Ridley Scott`s first movie in Alien franchise is about maternity, and this theory seems plausible).
When Malorie goes to the hospital to see the doctor, there is news on TV saying that something strange is happening in Europe, where people start to crash everything and commit mass suicide. Malorie doesn`t pay attention to that. However, when she is leaving the hospital, people around her are starting to act the same. Even her sister Jessica becomes mad, deliberately crashes the vehicle, and then jumps right in front of a truck and dies.
Somebody realizes that people go crazy by looking at something and yells to the folks around to keep their eyes down. So Malorie just looks down and enters a random house with a group of other people.
That little community tries to survive and decides what to do next. As usual, there would be a traitor, a cynic, a random guy, a cute dumb girl in the house. No one survives, as expected, except for Malorie.
There are a lot of theories about Bird Box and its monster which are never shown and never explained in the movie. Amongst the theories, there are metaphors for modern society and even white supremacy.
But what do we really see by paying attention to the screen? We see that Bird Box is a very biblical story. It starts with an opening scene where Malorie paints on a canvas. When Jessica comes, Malorie asks her about the painting.
“I see a whole bunch of people sitting together, but they all feel incredibly lonely. The loneliness is just incidental”, – says Jessica.
“It`s really about people`s inability to connect”, – Malorie replies.
In the meantime, we see the above-mentioned canvas. The central figure in the picture is definitely Malorie herself. But the interesting thing is that the canvas is unfinished on the lower side. There is a big blank space desperately asking to be filled like someone drew that line to separate the forbidden zone. What is supposed to be there?
Classic art painting was formed during the Renaissance in Europe. The majority of paintings were based on biblical stories, as Bible and Christianity used to be the main sources of verified and meaningful information. So artists drew a variety of plots, including Creation of the World, Christ’s resurrection, The Last Supper, and so on.
One of the popular themes – is the adoration of the Magi, when the Magi come to bow down before the newborn Jesus Christ.
In many paintings, artists display the newborn Christ as a source of bright light. The light was incredibly important at these times because as the sun goes down, everything plunges into darkness. Artists wanted to show that Christ would be a new light for humanity. There is a light on Malorie`s painting, and it`s placed right where the Renaissance painters used to locate it. But we don`t see the source of light, it`s hidden in this empty area mentioned above, or, to be more accurate, it hasn`t been revealed yet.
The main purpose of Malorie in the movie – is to metaphorically finish this painting, i.e. give birth to a baby and bring the light to her life and to the world.
The monster and the faith
There is a lot of discussion regarding the nature of the monster in the Bird Box that makes people violent and suicidal. It`s not shown during the movie. But it doesn’t really matter who or what this is in particular, because it`s obvious the Devil, and the Devil has a thousand faces. There is no need to show one of the faces, it takes on different shapes for everyone.
Malorie is surrounded by her fears and she needs to overcome them in order to “live, but not survive”, as her beloved Tom once said.
BirdS and the End
When Malorie finally rescues herself and her children, they come to the sanctuary with surviving people led by blind Rick. It`s set as a very biblical story as well. There are sunbeams coming through the greenery, and a lot of birds. Then Malorie releases the birds she has been carrying in the cage during the film. Birds are often described In Christianity as the bond between earth and the sky, as people`s souls.
So Malorie is free now.
Tolegen Baitukenov, MovieTerra