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  • Writer's pictureEllis Barthorpe

Bliss ★

Mike Cahill

Starring Owen Wilson, Salma Hayek, Madeline Zima, Jorge Lendeborg Jr, Bill Nye


Imagine the facial expression that would accompany the above question. That was the expression slapped across my once optimistic face as the film traipsed through its 100-minute run time.

An attempted mind-bending love story, sees Greg (Owen Wilson) as confused and disorientated as the audience. Salma Hayek's Isabel enters the story as an almost guardian for Greg, guiding him through these separate worlds that are not as they seem. And although the film tries to plummet you into its complications, there's not enough reasoning early on to entice you in.

A vignette design style seems to border the edge of the frame, though it's only the more you watch that you realise that it's just the doom and gloom seeping into the corners of the screen. Yet when we delve into a lighter world, things are much easier on the eye; it's such a shame that we don't spend more time there.

Although Wilson and Hayek seem to fully believe in what they're performing, the chemistry is really lacking, and the film seems more bothered about confusing its audience than making anything comprehensive or likeable to help you root for the protagonist. And for such a deep and potentially fascinating concept, the end product seems a little thin.

That question of "what?" became a recurring theme throughout, and still I have no answers. The rules of the world seem to be made up as the film plods along and if anything, this just shines a light on Christopher Nolan, highlighting that the stories he tells are complicated to tell, and I can't help but think that Mike Cahill took some inspiration here, but maybe not enough.

So, if there's one question that will be left on your mind once you've decided that assimilating the concept is beyond will be: What on Earth was Bill Nye the Science Guy doing there?

Bliss available now on Amazon Prime

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