Birdbox and Mental Illness

Birdbox is a record breaking movie for most watched Netflix original in one week after being released. Many have claimed it to be a shabby thriller but regardless, still a great film. Before reading on, I suggest you watch the movie.

The story follows, Malorie Hayes, a pregnant woman. Two separate plots, one from the future and one from the past, are intertwined throughout the movie. Just to catch you up in short terms, a plague like entity has been causing those who look at it to commit suicide on the spot. Malorie is on a mission to take her and her two children to safety. To avoid looking, everyone wears blindfolds and goes about their day in their houses otherwise. The title gets its name from how many keep birds in boxes because they are good at alarming if the “entity” is present.

There is a deeper meaning to the movie, though. Many have said that the film is an interpretation of the world’s suicide epidemic and mental illness. Since suicide rates are higher than any time in the past, it could be understandable. Along with other theories, this is just one broad one.

When people up and kill themselves after being exposed to an entity, those close to them will say something along the lines of “they wouldn’t do that, they never talked about it, etc”. This is because when you are suicidal or struggling with mental issues, you don’t tell people right away. It’s more comforting to keep it to yourself and push it away than revealing it.

The mentally ill seem to be immune to seeing the entity. They will try to coax others into opening their eyes and just “see how beautiful it is”. Those mentally ill do not kill themselves but rather get others exposed to it. When you are mentally ill, it’s not like you want to be ill. You will try in many ways to seek help but some are not obvious.

The entity is never shown and is up for interpretation by the viewer. No experience of mental illness is the exact same as the next. This “demon” is seen differently by everyone.

The blindfolds signify the ignorance of those who are not mentally ill. In real life, you cannot always see if a loved one is struggling or in need of help. Signs of mental illness are not always right in your face.

Malorite ends up in the middle of the woods with her children lost. They shout and try to get back to each other before they take their blindfolds off or are exposed to the entity. This signifies how you must vocalize yourself in order to get help. Staying silent about your problems rather than expressing it can cause you to get drawn into the “voices” more.

At the end, Malorie and the two kids make it to a safe haven. This is a school for the blind. The directors of the school say things like “you’re safe now” and “everyone here is like you”. This metaphorically can be seen as how you are not alone in your bad times. There are always people who want to help.

Lastly, the birds could signify how animals are aware of distress and sadness. You ever had a bad day and it seems like your pet is extra affectionate? Or you’re crying and they want to cuddle you? Many scientists have theorized how your pets can sense when you are not well, even physically sick.

Something to take away from this movie is the impression mental illness has on one. Always check up on your friends and family. Get them help if they need it because the fear of embarrassment or shame could be holding them back from doing so.

My interests include cats, food, procrastination, and bad bios.

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