Oxygen | Film critic
May 10, 2021
Time is running out for Liz (Mélanie Laurent) when she wakes up in a cryogenic capsule to quickly find herself short of oxygen. With no memory of who she is or how she got into this situation, she must find a way to survive before her air supply runs out.
French movie Oxygen carries all the hallmarks of a gripping claustrophobic thriller (its premise is even reminiscent of Ryan Reynolds being trapped in a coffin in Buried) and director Alexandre Aja (Crawl) uses his horror past to generate effective tension sequences. However, the Netflix production derailed before reaching the midpoint and crashed into the realms of self-indulgence and parody.
Viewers are introduced to the mysterious protagonist as she bursts through a plastic cocoon that buries her body. It is an arduous effort (which is not without symbolic significance) that sets the stage for the struggle to come. The lights finally come on, illuminating the confined space alongside the myriad of wires and tubes attached to the female body, and the audience is introduced to the pod’s AI, named MILO (Mathieu Amalric), who l ‘informs of worrying oxygen levels. But he is not that open with any other information to help resolve the situation.
Laurent carries the weight of the film with ease. With hardly any other character appearing onscreen, she alone sells the urgency of the ordeal. In addition, his character is capable and intelligent enough to handle every problem he faces and find a solution. The problem, however, is that a lot of these solutions are found by uncovering the right questions to ask the AI, which is like watching someone struggle with a misbehaving digital assistant – and it’s not as suspenseful as the filmmakers wish.
As more and more answers come to light, attention shifts from the protagonist’s discovery to a mystery about a husband that may or may not exist, before arriving at a revelation that takes the events into a science. – completely different (but too familiar) fiction. direction. The script cannot convincingly join these dots and the result is an increasingly rambling and silly viewing experience that doesn’t know where to end.
The suspense gradually dissipates in this thriller that is not worth holding your breath.
Oxygen released on Netflix on the 12the May 2021.
Watch the trailer for Oxygen here: