Monday, February 1, 2021

Bliss Review: A Star-Studded Drug Trip

Owen Wilson	...	Greg Salma Hayek	Salma Hayek	...	Isabel Clemens Nesta Cooper	Nesta Cooper	...	Emily Wittle Jorge Lendeborg Jr.	Jorge Lendeborg Jr.	...	Arthur Wittle Ronny Chieng	Ronny Chieng	...	Kendo Steve Zissis	Steve Zissis	...	Bjorn Joshua Leonard	Joshua Leonard	...	Cameron Madeline Zima	Madeline Zima	...	Doris Bill Nye	Bill Nye	...	Chris Slavoj Zizek	Slavoj Zizek	...	Slavoj Zizek DeRon Horton	DeRon Horton	...	Liang Eugene Young	Eugene Young	...	Bartender Dayne Catalano	Dayne Catalano	...	Fast Food Clerk Adam William Zastrow	Adam William Zastrow	...	Dougie Lora Lee	Lora Lee	...	Destiny

Release date: February 5, 2020
Running time: 108 minutes
Starring Owen Wilson, Salma Hayek, Nesta Cooper
Written and Directed by Mike Cahill

Bliss is a mind-bending love story following Greg (Owen Wilson) who, after recently being divorced and then fired, meets the mysterious Isabel (Salma Hayek), a woman living on the streets and convinced that the polluted, broken world around them is nothing but a computer simulation. Doubtful at first, Greg eventually discovers there may be some truth to Isabel’s wild conspiracy.

Kate Churchill	...	Production Executive Adam Haggiag	...	co-producer Bart Lipton	...	line producer: additional photography Lucas Smith	...	executive producer James D. Stern	...	producer (p.g.a.) Marsha L. Swinton	...	executive producer Diego Zanco	...	line producer: Croatia      Directed by  Mike Cahill	Writing Credits (in alphabetical order)   Mike Cahill
Bliss gives Owen Wilson a more serious role, and Salma Hayek a more out there, exuberant role and they are both really wonderful.  I loved how Greg started off, seeing Wilson play a more measured, down to earth character than I was used to.  And when Hayek comes into his life, she affects him in more ways than you are led to believe.  The film takes a while to get started and leaves the viewer with a lot of mystery.  And it starts off quite subtle, with little hints of what is about to happen thrown in here or there but for the most part, the story starts off relatively measured.  And the subtlety is also translated into the sound, which starts off muted and does a good job of making relatively normal life feel overwhelming.  It kicks in and lets the sights and sounds of the city and the surroundings feel stifling when needed.  And when Greg and Isabel start to explore Bliss, the film has a great use of colors to kick it up a few notches.

However, the film is meant to be sort of a fever dream sequence and in many respects it succeeds.  But it feels like it hides the ball a little too much.  You have an idea of what is happening but you don't get a full picture until the end.  And this causes the movie to go off the rails as it progresses and especially so at the end.  It has some great emotional scenes between Greg's current life and his former life, and this is when the movie starts to get interesting.  But it comes a little too late and causes the movie to feel like it resolves too conveniently.  And while watching this, I couldn't help but think that I've seen this movie done better before.  The Princess of the Row was released late last year and tackled the subject matter more gracefully and emotionally than Bliss does.  It didn't have the star power or the out of this world effects, but it definitely left a more lasting impression on me than this film did.  That's not to say Bliss isn't bad.  It has some great effects and feels like a fever dream at times.  And as people are dealing with all sorts of economic and personal issues, another film that looks into mental health and addiction is a welcome one.

Bliss will hit you with its high energy style, subtle opening sequence, and interesting roles for Wilson and Hayek.

Rent it.

Addiction Drugs Drama Family Trip Hallucination Drug Addiction Addict Life Sadness Mental health

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Bliss is available on Amazon Prime Video on Februay 5, 2020.

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