Mike Cahill (director)
1h 43mins (length)
06 February 2021 (released)
06 February 2021
Bliss (2021) is a sci-fi fantasy-drama film where Greg Wittle (Owen Wilson), a troubled man going through a crisis in his personal and professional life, meets Isabel (Salma Hayek) while he’s trying to run away from consequences of an unfortunate accident. His world turns upside down when she explains to him that he’s one of the few real people living inside a fake world created by her. This is illustrated by the fact that upon consumption of special ‘yellow’ crystals, they get the powers to manipulate the world around them.
The movie then meanders around the high he experiences from his new found powers, the explanations around this real world that Isabel talks about, his daughter’s efforts to get him back and finally, a struggle to make the right choice.
In principle, the movie seeks to give a message on issues like poverty, depression, addiction and homelessness, however, it is all lost as the director seems to solely focus on making the ‘tech-magical’ experience of his characters as believable as possible. This makes the ending seem to be at odds with rest of the movie.
The audience are driven from one end to the other with the convoluted plotline, seeking to look for explanations as to what is going on around them like when the FGPs (Fake Generated persons- The NPCs of this movie) make a sudden appearance on the other side of the realm.
The movie does show its intent (as to what it would want to be) by dropping hints towards what is going on such as the utterance of “So many thoughts, I wish you could see” by Greg to his daughter to the presence of a Thought-Visualizer later in the movie, the state in which the two characters live in the ‘simulated’ world and the repetition of certain events in the two worlds but these are exceptions rather than the norm.
While one can make an estimation as to where the movie will go towards once the chaos enters the ‘utopian’ realm, it becomes such a mess from that moment onwards that it undoes any sort of build-up up to that point. The trouble with ‘bliss’ is that it is unable to find what it wants to do with the world that it has created.