If you’re looking for a movie that will leave you blissful, “Bliss” is a perfect choice. This film tells the story of a young woman named Mary who moves to the country to live with her aunt after her mother’s death. While there, she meets a local man named Hank and falls in love. The two decide to run away together, but their happiness is short-lived. “Bliss” has a shocking ending that will leave you wondering what happened next.
When I started watching, I expected to see fantasy. But I was disappointed when I realized that the film is more of an allegory and a social drama.
Retelling the intricate plot in detail makes no sense, but you must touch it. This is one of those films where everyone will find their own. Someone promotes illegal drugs; someone will not understand anything and decide that the film is a dummy. But it’s deeper than it looks.
What is the movie “Bliss” about
Greg Whittle works in a call center. He does not invest in his work and spends time drawing sketches of distant places and figures that seem to be a figment of his imagination. Greg’s boss calls him to a meeting and tries to put it off. Eventually, his boss fires him, and in a freak accident, Greg kills him. He hides the body and heads to the bar, where he meets Isabelle, who looks like the woman in his drawings but is enveloped in a free spirit. Isabelle tells Greg that their world is a simulation and that the people around them are fake. Greg is visibly confused, but the idea of a carefree demeanor brings him closer to Isabelle.
Isabelle and Greg consume yellow crystals, a drug that gives them the power to change the laws of physics. Encouraged by their newfound power, Greg and Isabelle embark on a carefree journey as they relieve the pressures of life and try to understand the meaning of existence. As the simulation approaches Greg and his daughter’s heady moment of confrontation, Isabelle picks up some blue crystals that can transport them to blissful reality. However, they lack the required amount but continue with their plan. Once Greg receives the crystals through a strange metal device, he is taken to a lab where he is connected to a mind visualization device. Isabelle and Greg are scientists in this reality who experiment with simulations to acknowledge their privileges while exploring brutal truths.
Meaning of the movie “Bliss.”
Below is a description of my understanding of the painting. This is a personal perception, so my opinion may differ from the ideas of the authors and someone else’s opinion.
So, the film shows the life of a seriously ill person with schizophrenia. Most of the picture takes place at the stage of exacerbation of the disease caused by a nervous breakdown resulting from problems at work and in personal life.
The protagonist, Greg Whittle, works for an IT company that he grotesquely perceives as “Technical Problems.” That’s what it’s called in his head, and Greg’s entire job is groundhog day with phone calls and solving technical problems.
He is already relatively advanced but still sits on technical support, albeit in a separate office. The person is talented, as he draws very well with his left hand (a sign of a creative person). But his talent, unfortunately, was never realized in life.
Greg is an escapist. He lives in his fantasies in an affluent coastal area in a luxurious villa. Greg constantly draws these pictures, running away with his thoughts in his fictional world. For him, it is more accurate than real. Because of this, Greg often gets in trouble at work. He misses calls and sometimes indistinctly answers. The authorities are unhappy with them.
The hero suffers from the breakdown of emotional reactions and thought processes ( schizophrenia ). One day, Greg ran out of pills he took, and he could not buy a new portion promptly, and his condition worsened even more.
With the hero’s family, too, not everything is going smoothly. He is divorced and blames himself for the breakup of the family. And he cannot come to his daughter’s graduation, afraid to meet his ex-wife once again and feel all the pain of his responsibility. From which he is also distraught.
And at this worst moment in the life of our protagonist, they are called to the director. He tells Greg the most unpleasant news about his dismissal. Greg is going crazy.
The sick perception of the character has already distorted all subsequent events. Therefore, it isn’t easy to vouch for their reality, and one can only assume what is real and what is not.
Greg’s boss dies in an accident. Moreover, these events are likely already the fruit of the protagonist’s fantasy. Later Greg will see his director alive and unharmed. And he will explain this by the fact that he was supposedly “restarted.” And the daughter will nevertheless notice that Greg has been begging from his old office.
Most likely, no tragedy happened, just the main character was so angry that he wanted to kill the boss. But he packed his things, went to the bar, and got drunk. After that, he began to wander.
In a bar, he met Isabelle, a gypsy. Most likely, this is the so-called “fictitious friend” (remember Fight Club (1999), Revolver (2005) ), and it simply doesn’t exist.
As proof of this theory, they, along with Isabelle, call everyone else “not real.” That is, only the two exist (actually not). This is an automatic defense of a “fictitious friend.” In addition, Isabelle, as a rule, is not noticed by other people; she does not contact them. And when our protagonist encounters people, Isabelle suddenly disappears. That is a cafe; when Greg was trying to buy lunch for two – a gypsy suddenly got into an unfamiliar car and left somewhere. Then when Greg’s daughter, Emily, finally finds her father, Isabelle also goes to someone for crystals. That’s when the police take them. Isabelle returns to another world, and Greg has to run away alone.
Plus, the gypsy strangely reads all of Greg’s thoughts and knows all the events that happened to him. Which once again proves that Isabelle is just a figment of fantasy.
Greg has a stormy day with his new girlfriend, who is “that one “woman of her dreams. They are having fun at the skating rink. But all this turns out to be just an illusion.
Running out of the roller drome, Greg sees himself in a police car. As if from the outside (disidentification). At the same time, he is alone in the car; the gypsy is not there. But in his fantasies – he is at large with his beloved.
But the reality is much harsher. And the two lovers with whom Greg has identified are just random passers-by (which is shown in the next frame).
On the abandoned streets, Greg most likely acquires drugs. With Isabelle, they take the “wrong” dose of blue crystals (popularly called “Salt”). After that, the main character and his girlfriend enter the land of dreams.
The protagonist tries to justify his unsuccessful life with a scientific experiment. It turns out that his whole fate is just a kind of computer game that people are forced to play so that they feel the difference. Being an IT person, he comes up with a situation similar to the Matrix in which he finds himself.
Unfortunately, our couch film critics take this stereotyped nonsense as the film’s main idea. But we then understand that this is not so.
The fictional world starts to crumble rather quickly. Some protesting people and elements from the “old” world appear in the hall.
Moreover, the whole new world is very much in common with the old one.
Most likely, the natural world became the prototype of the fictional one (but not vice versa).
Daughter Emily talks to him like a child (well, or mentally ill). She says that he has children, his mind is confused, he does not understand what is happening, and that both of his worlds are fictional to some extent.
I advise you to reconsider this point more carefully.
At the same time, Greg himself calls Isabelle, a doctor. This fits into his picture of the world (about the scientist Isabelle) but may also indicate that Greg is actually in a hospital. And Isabelle is indeed his doctor.
The clinic is called “Quiet Harbor” – just like his “dream house.” According to the story, he came to this hospital alone, but most likely, the police brought him even after his capture. The sequence of events can be confused, as the patient was hallucinating.
In the last frames, our grief hero, who has already recovered, meets his daughter with a bouquet.
This is the first level of understanding the film.
The second, as I said above, lies in a religious context. Our visible world is just what our brain’s neurons draw for us, what we perceive due to certain cause-and-effect relationships. This hallucination is called “karmic vision. ” Our immortal soul (atman), or the stream of mind (for an-atman religions), is only identified with the manifested world and is involved in it, as in a game. For development, purification, improvement, for knowledge. And what we remember will be our reality. In a more profound sense – any world is only fictional (which is what Emily says).
Therefore, I recommend reading the Parable of Maya to understand the second level. Well, or Pelevin’s book “Chapaev and Emptiness,” in which the plot is quite similar to our film.
What is the real world?
When Greg is transported into a reality that resembles the world in his drawings, he realizes that he is in a privileged position. He is a scientist like Isabelle, who is inventing a mind visualization device. Greg and Isabelle spend time in the ancient world, enjoying their Bliss. They interact with wealthy people at parties, even in the presence of the holographic Slavoj Zizek, a famous philosopher. Unfortunately, their heavenly life is hampered by a glitch in their reality, and they resort to yellow crystals to avoid dissonance. In a hasty attempt to escape, Isabelle and Greg absorb the blue crystals, which transport them back to the battered streets of Los Angeles.
The stark differences between the two realities portray the class conflict in the film as a social commentary. The idea behind the brain box is to experience different realities that different social situations can create. The harsh realities are an allegory for Greg’s desire to break out of his daily routine and achieve a semblance of Bliss. His drawings indicate this fact and imply that he is looking for an escape. In her street prophet avatar, Isabelle helps Greg appreciate what he has and, most importantly, his daughter’s relationship.
Eventually, Greg ends up in rehab, where he acknowledges his daughter’s presence. Another theory for analyzing the real puzzle is that Greg may have schizophrenia and is desperate to change his worldview. He becomes increasingly distant and tries to find a way out of life’s difficulties. The Bliss narrative makes us sympathize with his character and, using the background of social inequality, tries to portray the eternal desire to escape to a world free from difficulties. Perhaps the world of LA is accurate, and Greg finally comes to terms with it through his final confession.
What are crystals?
Two types of crystals are repeated in the film: yellow, which gives the power to distort reality, and blue, which takes a person to another fact. The crystals draw a parallel to Greg’s consumption of prescription drugs, as in the opening scene, he negotiates with a pharmacy to allow him to restock. Isabelle introduces Greg to the crystals, and they consume them to enjoy fun moments that border on comical violence. While the crystal grants certain powers, the characters rely heavily on them to navigate harsh realities. Quite often, people use drugs to escape from reality, which most often leads to addiction.
The film combines this aspect of drug use with the sheer importance of crystals. The characters try to escape, and their addiction to the crystals creates problems that cloud their Bliss. This can be taken as a commentary on the social aspects of drug abuse. The film dedicates quite a lot of time to the lower strata of society where drugs are abused. In an elaborate sci-fi narrative, Bliss comments on some essential points that make this watch enjoyable. Even though history spans different realities, the main themes that explore the limits of human consciousness cannot be ignored. Crystals symbolize the pleasures of intoxication and the dangers associated with them when they cause detachment from reality.
Explained the ending of “Bliss.”
Several times Isabelle mentioned that she almost lost Greg. One might think it was a virtual Los Angeles, but most likely, it is about the real world.
About their life together. Isabelle realized she was losing a loved one and created a device to show him how happily they lived in an ideal world. And for one thing, she erased his memory during the experiment (after all, he never remembered their “real” life). But once he had a choice, Greg didn’t choose her. An imperfect world with its problems is the true beauty. Plus, the love of a daughter.
Greg stayed and stopped “hiding” from his problems. He realized that he needed help, not the ability to change space. And yet, he set priorities for himself and discovered what he lacked in his ideal world – children. And the daughter was more important than Isabelle.