• 02 Jan - 08 Jan, 2021
  • Mag The Weekly
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The country is currently in the grip of a deadly pandemic. The death rate is higher than ever, with fatalities racing toward the 300,000 mark. So what you really want to do to distract yourself from this horrible state of affairs is to watch a new cinematic thriller about a country in the grip of a deadly pandemic, right? Apparently, the creators of Songbird think so.

The film directed by Adam Mason is set in 2024, when the virus has mutated into an even more deadly form that has killed millions of people. The country is in total lockdown, with Los Angeles' mayor having declared martial law. People who are discovered to be infected are snatched from their homes by hazmat suit-wearing Sanitation Department officers and thrown into quarantine camps known as "Q-Zones."

This being a Hollywood production, there has to be a feel-good element. It comes in the form of the star-crossed love story between intrepid courier Nico (K.J. Apa) who is immune to the virus but also a supercarrier, and Sara (Sofia Carson), a young woman who lives with her grandmother. Despite the two would-be lovers' intense emotional connection, physical contact, needless to say, is impossible.

Other characters figuring in the proceedings are William and Piper Griffith (Bradley Whitford, Demi Moore), a wealthy couple, stuck together, whose marriage is on the rocks; May (Alexandra Daddario), an aspiring singer who performs online, with whom William is having a kinky pandemic affair; Michael (Paul Walter Hauser), May's biggest fan, a disabled veteran and a whiz at drones; and Lester (Craig Robinson), Nico's boss, who runs a delivery business servicing wealthy clients.

When Sara's grandmother falls victim to the virus, which can be detected almost immediately by a cell phone scanning app, the nasty Dept. of Sanitation head, played in full moustache-twirling mode by Peter Stormare, seizes her and Sara to take to one of the dreaded Q-Zones. That is, unless Nico can prevent it by illicitly snaring one of the invaluable black market bracelets signaling immunity.

Ultimately, the filmmakers' main achievement in producing and releasing Songbird is that they managed to do it at all. Whether or not it was actually worth doing, or if the film will be of any interest after this protracted national nightmare is over, is another question.

– Compilation