This piece was written during the 2023 WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. Without the labor of the writers and actors currently on strike, Bird Box Barcelona being covered here wouldn’t exist. We stand with the WGA and SAG-AFTRA.
Bird Box Barcelona has arrived on Netflix! The film works as a continuation of Sandra Bullock’s success, this time set in the beautiful city of Barcelona while telling the story of Sebastián and how a good man can become a villain. Ready?
Here we go!
The Hero Turned Villain at Bird Box Barcelona
Bird Box Barcelona is completely focused on Sebastian and that becomes a handicap. On the one hand, the turn of the main character is one of the best things that the film has.
We are used to the leader being the hero. Although they’re complicated characters, with lights and shadows, there are always more of the former than the latter.
However, in Bird Box Barcelona, Sebastián is a villain, without palliatives. It’s not until the end that he realizes his mistakes and does something good, even if that doesn’t redeem him in our eyes.
He thinks he’s doing the right thing, but still, the movie makes it clear that he’s one of the bad guys. And telling the story from the bad guy’s point of view enriches the movie.
But, on the other hand, Bird Box Barcelona focuses too much on Sebastián, which means that the secondary characters in the film have no story to tell. They are characters who are there simply for being there, without having a specific story or mission beyond going from point A to point B.
Also, what little we see of the secondary characters is summed up in a couple of clichés. We think that these characters were much more than that and the film fails to exploit all their possibilities.
Believing to be Doing the Right Thing
The latter brings us to another problem that Bird Box Barcelona has. Due to the lack of solid supporting characters, the entire weight of the story falls on Sebastian.
Although Anna’s visions are quite interesting and terrifying at first, they end up being repetitive. It’s impossible not to feel that the film turns in circles around the same point until the end.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, it’s a success to have Anna’s visions at Bird Box Barcelona to fully immerse ourselves in Sebastián’s psyche — we just shouldn’t have seen it as much. As we discussed, he thinks that he is doing the right thing and the reason for this is that Anna tells him so in his visions.
So Sebastian’s motivation is selfish at first and then it turns into something else. Sebastián always wanted to get Anna back but, later in Bird Box Barcelona, the mission to make the chosen humans transcend is all-consuming. That’s why it’s a shock when we find out that it’s all a hoax.
Nothing is What It Seems…
We, like Sebastian, wanted to believe that everything was real. That Anna was there, somehow, even if it wasn’t quite her anymore and was more and more…violent. But Bird Box Barcelona surprises us by revealing that all along it was the creatures that were playing with Sebastián’s mind.
They feed on trauma to kill and manipulate humans in the style of the Dementors in Harry Potter. And Sebastian was just another pawn in their game.
Until he decides to stop being and help the living, instead of the dead. Anna is gone but he can help that little girl who reminds him of her… and it’s the last thing Sebastian does before succumbing to death.
We never see the creatures at Bird Box Barcelona. We never know what they look like and that makes it even scarier because each trauma has a different look, a different shape.
Fear of the Unknown at Bird Box Barcelona
That being said, we feel that Bird Box Barcelona gives us too many answers. While part of us is grateful to know the answers to how and why, another part of us wishes we didn’t.
Bird Box left many questions in the air because the fear of the unknown is the most terrifying and, while Bird Box Barcelona answers some questions, that prevents it from creating the suspense and terror that its predecessor did manage to make the viewer feel.
Having said this, it is inevitable to feel that Bird Box Barcelona gives us the answers that it should not have given us but avoids answering what it should.
For example, we know that they’re trying to find a cure, but because of what we saw at the end of Bird Box, six years later, they still haven’t succeeded. We have no idea if they are still looking for that cure or not.
So the story is left unfinished in some ways, waiting for a third part — and we like that each part is set in a different country, so we went for an Asian country for the new one.
In general, Bird Box Barcelona is entertaining. It’s the typical film that will entertain you on a Sunday, but it is not a film that you are going to see more than once or that you are going to remember too much after the end of the credits. Not bad…but it could be better.