Original name: Same
Address: David Pastor, Alex Pastor
Script: David Pastor, Alex Pastor
Artists: Mario Casas, Georgina Campbell, Diego Calva, Naila Schubert, Alejandra Howard, Patrick Criado, Celia Freijeiro, Lola Duenas, Gonzalo de Castro, Michelle Jenner, Leonardo Sbaraglia, Abdelatif Hvidar, Manel Llunell, Carolina Meyer
Photo: Daniel Aragno
Installation: Marty Roca
Music: Zeltia Montes
Duration: 112 minutes
I remember the first seasons the walking Dead they showed it to be a very compelling series, despite being constantly on the brink of dramatic collapse. Its post-apocalyptic setting provided the perfect setting for all sorts of horrific situations and events to unfold, which it backed up with complex and strong characters whose journeys were easy to empathize with. This fueled a political reading that could sometimes be somewhat arbitrary, but which did not sound forced and was believable. In addition, he could portray formidable villains who were easy to hate. Of course, gradually the abundance of plots and subplots, the prolongation of conflicts (thanks to very long seasons) and the growing miserabilism led to its decline.
I say all this because Bird Box: Barcelona – by-product Bird box: blind, a mediocre film starring Sandra Bullock – I notice elements of this series, but most of all in its second (and worst) stage. That is, a great display of production that serves as the basis for a story that is more moralistic than moral, that makes the actions of the characters say something “important” about the world. His story, which purports to be a story of fall, learning, and redemption, is unfortunately full of patterns, with a few twists and turns that can be seen from afar. In this he seems to learn nothing from his predecessor, and repeats errors in the configuration of the characters, which are relegated by discursive overlays.
Here, instead of a mother, the father is in the center of the story: this is Sebastian (very hardworking Mario Casas), who lost his wife at the beginning of the arrival of certain mysterious creatures that destroyed most of the population and that they forced the rest to live blindly; and then his daughter, whose quasi-spiritual presence follows him everywhere. On his journey through a devastated Barcelona, he will eventually run into a group of survivors consisting of, among others, a young American, a German girl, and an elderly couple who will join them to try to reach a hideout that seems almost impregnable to the invaders. Although, of course, the road will not be easy, and not only because there are all sorts of obstacles – both alien and human, but also because Sebastian himself hides some secrets from his past that can be deadly for himself and those around him.
The story, created by writers/directors David Pastor and Alex Pastor, seeks to combine a thriller with road movie and intimate drama, with a protagonist who is ambiguous in his behavior and whose personal conflict grows out of interactions with other characters. The picture is completed by the appearance of the villain (Leonardo Sbaraglia on autopilot) with clearly religious motives and ruthless actions. The problem is that there is never really ambiguity, because there are no characters, but only representational stereotypes of certain human behavior. The Pastor Brothers want to reproduce a social fable Bird box: blind and at some point they succeed because they hit the same level of superficiality, which leads to a very predictable narrative where every turn is seen from afar.
Every member of the cast Bird Box: Barcelona it is inevitable to say or show something on a certain topic, be it marriage, parenthood, love, religion, power, etc. And what is conveyed is always between the obvious and the easy. That is why only those moments are interesting that are based not on words or obvious gestures, but on physicality, movement and a portrait of a city as empty as it is hostile. But, of course, in an empty film that borders on boredom, heartfelt monologues and explanations of everything that happens abound.
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