Bird Box quickly rose to fame as one of the most cleverly written movies in this modern time. This Netflix hit caught the attention of many with its unique and intriguing storyline. It sparked various discussions about the symbolisms it contained and how relevant they are in our current time.
So, what exactly made this post-apocalyptic thriller a major hit? What were the underlying messages encrypted within the film? What made it different from similarly-themed movies?
In this article, I will try to answer all these questions, while also dropping little fact bombs about the movie.
Bird Box Symbolism: The Plot
To fully appreciate the symbolism hidden in Bird Box, I find it best to give you a summary of the plot first. The movie starts by giving viewers the feeling that an apocalypse has just taken place. Malorie, played by Sandra Bullock, along with two kids, were among the few survivors of the tragedy.
It is later on revealed that an invisible monster is causing humans to commit suicide once they encounter it. Although the identity of the monster remained a mystery throughout the movie, it seemed like the only chance they had at survival was to avoid seeing it.
In the movie, Malorie searches for the only safe place on Earth where she can finally settle down with the kids. However, the search would not be easy – all of them must be blindfolded.
While stopping by at a local supermarket, Malorie chanced upon pet birds and took them under her wing. This proved to be one of her best decisions since the birds navigated them to safety. After a suspenseful turn of events, Malorie finally finds a safe place – a school for the blind. The movie ends with Malorie freeing the birds which she kept inside a box.
The Meaning of Bird Box Movie
Now, we move on to discussing the symbolism behind some of the most captivating scenes in the movie. Birdbox or painting. In a scene at the beginning of the movie, there was a painting where people were depicted to be in a dark and cramped room. In this painting, people were looking down onto the only source of light in the room: a cellphone.
This symbolizes that people fail to look beyond the box. The fact that they were all looking at the phone also meant that we tend to ignore what’s immediately around us because we are too distracted by what we want to focus on. The phone depicts our jobs and our pursuit of material happiness.
Viewed from another perspective, the painting can also symbolize this generation’s dependence on social media. Monsters. When a person encounters a monster, he begins to have a sudden urge to kill himself. Because of this, it is believed that these monsters symbolize the problems which we choose to turn a blind eye on. And just like in real life, the problems we keep turning our backs on build up and eventually kill us – figuratively, at least.
Handicap. In Bird Box, survivors are forced into wearing blindfolds whenever they have to leave their safe place. With the loss of their sense of sight, they had to depend on their other senses to survive. And true enough, Malorie was able to bring the kids to safety even with a blindfold.
This gives us a fresh perspective when dealing with people with disabilities. It teaches us that having a handicap must not be viewed negatively. When we lose one sense, all our other senses are heightened. Through this, we can still find ways to make life worth living.
Similarly, characters who were already suffering from mental illness were not affected by these monsters. It was believed that, since they were constantly dealing with their own monsters, they were no longer affected by these new ones. At the beginning of Bird Box, Malorie was portrayed as an emotionally detached individual with a negative outlook on life. In the course of her fight for survival, she decides to embrace a more positive outlook. Eventually, this outlook helped her plow through every challenge.
This symbolizes how our thoughts can affect how we see things, and how we ultimately live life. A negative outlook will always bring us down, while a positive one will give us hope and strength to survive.
Birds. In the movie, the birds were responsible for guiding Malorie and the kids to the safe place. This only strengthens the belief that birds symbolize the heavens.
From another perspective, birds are believed to symbolize freedom. True enough, the birds led them to their symbolic freedom. And as a symbol of gratitude, they too were set free from their bird box.
Bird Box: Interesting Facts About Bird Box Symbols
With such a unique concept and a hair-raising plot, it is no wonder why Bird Box was such a hit. In fact, Netflix revealed that the movie received a whopping 45 million views within only a week from its release. And to add to that achievement, the movie was also positively received by critics and movie junkies alike.
The movie was based on a novel of the same title written by Josh Malerman.