COVID-19 Thriller Movie ‘Songbird’ Is Tone-Deaf Beyond Belief

Roshni Ramesan
·4-min read

The first trailer of a movie that we arguably didn’t ask for and don’t need was released online last week, featuring everything that’ll make conspiracy theorists online cry tears of vindication and cause the rest of us to be equal parts scared and annoyed.

‘Songbird’, a movie based on the COVID-19 pandemic, was created and filmed in the middle of a pandemic, with a plot that is specifically meant to play on the fear of millions of people who have spent the past few nightmarish months in worry and disarray.

A COVID-23 Romantic Thriller

The movie is set in 2024, wherein the coronavirus has mutated to COVID-23 and can affect brain tissues, which is so frustratingly dystopic that isn’t even dramatic anymore, it just clearly an opportunistic grab at the attention of people who, need I remind you, are still very much in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic.

As per the trailer, the world is in its 4th year of lockdown, the virus has a 50% mortality rate (compared to the actual mortality rate of coronavirus currently, which is at 3-4%), millions of Americans die every year, police point a gun at anyone they see outside, quarantine camps become a thing, and in between all this, a love story evolves.

It’s a dystopian, scary world, but it’s a romantic movie about two people who want to be together, but they can’t. It’s Romeo and Juliet, but they’re separated by her front door and by the virus, ” says director Adam Mason.

A still from the trailer
A still from the trailer

That’s right, we’re supposed to care about a Romeo and Juliet duo played by Riverdale’s KJ Apa and Disney’s Descendants’ Sofia Carson in the lead roles. The ensemble cast features Craig Robinson, Bradley Whitford, Alexandra Daddario, Demi Moore and more.

The film is produced by the famed director of movies like the Transformer series and Armageddon, Micheal Bay.

The movie follows Nico, played by Apa, a COVID-immune bike messenger in his quest to get to Sara, played by Sofia Carson.

Also Read: With Theatres Opening, These Movies Will Get Re-Released In Coming Days

Too Soon And Too Exploitative

There was no way that Hollywood could’ve avoided addressing and incorporating themes involving the coronavirus pandemic, but playing on the fears of people through blatant opportunistic use of a disease that is still killing thousands of people around the world with no vaccine in sight is exploitative at best and catastrophic at worst.

It’s even worse because the movie seems to be utilizing lazy science fiction tropes that have been overused to death.

KJ Apa, from Riverdale fame, has a starring role in the movie
KJ Apa, from Riverdale fame, has a starring role in the movie

The makers of the movie came up with such a concept in March saying that “The day after parts of the country [USA] went into official lockdown on March 13, the filmmaker received a call from his writing partner Simon Boyes. “It was surprisingly early, and he was surprisingly excited,” says Mason. “I was like, ‘Why are you excited? It’s the end of the world.’ He said, ‘We should just go and make a movie.”

While they originally intended to make the movie using iPhones, the production value went up after Micheal Bay, one of the most commercially successful directors in film history largely through the success of the Transformers series, came onboard.

After the trailer dropped online on Friday, Twitterati had a lot of things to say:

Film theatres across the country have been slowly re-opening with reduced capacity. While Songbird does not have a definitive release date, we hope that other filmmakers do better things with their projects and would want us to (safely) get outside the house instead of making us want to curl up in a ball.

Until then, we can just watch 2011’s Contagion and its eerie accuracy about a pandemic situation.

Image Sources: Google Images

Sources: Vulture, GQ, Esquire

Find the blogger: @RoshniKahaHain

This post is tagged under: pandemic movie, Riverdale KJ Apa, Sofia Carson, coronavirus pandemic movie, covid-23, michael bay production, songbird trailer, songbird movie 2020 cast, Movies like contagion

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