14 Feb 2021: 'Bliss': An immersive sci-fi experience that blends with despair finely
You can't enjoy this film with preconceived notions, because you'd have to forget Salma Hayek for her looks alone and Owen Wilson for his tailor-made rom-com funny bone.
I write this because Amazon Prime Video has succeeded to satiate with a storyline focused on simulation hypothesis, unlike popular contrary claims.
You're experiencing Bliss, after all, so kindly stay informed to stay entertained.
The start: Greg Wittle is not doing his job, he's sketching rather
Mike Cahill of Another Earth and I Origins writes and directs the film that starts with palpable tension as middle-aged Greg Wittle (played by Wilson) whiles away his time on his office desk doing something he shouldn't while he's on payroll, that is making sketches.
The PA to the boss calls him several times after an intoxicated colleague spots him drawing.
And then: After Wittle gets fired, his reflex kills boss Bjorn
We know where this goes hereon, but Wittle is a defeated man, assuring daughter Emily that he'll make it to her graduation ceremony, while the pharmacy drops his legal request for a medicine refill.
He fails to order, fails to convince Emily, and fails to leave the cabin on time to hear boss Bjorn say he's fired.
Wittle's reflex stuns Bjorn, who wounds himself fatally.
Fake reality: Hayek meets Wittle while he's on the loose
The PA has the meeting timed, but is unaware of Bjorn's presence inside the room, giving Whittle a chance to mount Bjorn's body with his buttoned-up sleeves to window panes, giving the impression of a standing posture draped by curtains.
He escapes, dashing to the nearest bar where a strange, pretty lady (Hayek) calls Wittle by his name and says, "Everything is fake."
Fantasy: Isabel's charm and yellow crystals soak Wittle in
Thereon, you see yellow crystals from Hayek's character of Isabel convince Wittle that a loser like him can use superpowers for defense and attack.
The following exhilaration is relaxing, and when a vagabond as charming as Isabel calls a divorced man like Wittle her soulmate, sparks must fly.
In this second chance at living, Wittle is bothered by Emily, who tries rescuing him.
Performance: Wilson and Hayek do justice to respective roles
That is where Wilson earns plaudits for playing a responsible father who admits to the consequences his family has faced due to him losing touch with reality since forever.
He gives respect and demands honesty even while staying off the grid with Isabel.
Isabel's dangerous mix of emotional manipulation and condescension override Wittle's strengthening doubts, and leaps into a reality resembling Wittle's sketches identically.
Conclusion: If sci-fi films were only this soothing. Our verdict: 4/5
Cahill weaves the wonderland with amazing grace, satisfaction, and literal "bliss" when we hear Hayek's second character of Dr. Clemens sigh how a perfect lifestyle guaranteed by endless income can also bore humans.
The film, through the contrasting interplay of a submissive man and an alpha female, has strong logic to help enliven what Bliss could be if we gave reality a week off!