Hello!! If you love movies then you have landed at the right place where you will get reviews for whatever flicks that I watch when I am bored. Caution: Most of my reviews tend to be biased!! :) .

The Box (2009)

It’s the holiday season and while the whole world is watching Avatar, I have to comfort myself with any random recent movies that happen to pop in my radar. One such movie that was recommended with a high praise to me happens to be the topic of review today!
I had no clue before watching this that it is by the creator of Donnie Darko, a movie that I have been thinking of watching for a real long time. Therefore, aside from the effusive praise that was bestowed to it by the recommender, I actually had no expectations from the movie. The core plot of the movie revolves around, as the title suggests, a box! This box is received by a family consisting of a couple and their son. The man of the house (James Mardsen) works for NASA while his wife (Cameron Diaz) works as a teacher. Their puzzle over both the content and sender of the box doesn’t last long as they are visited the very next day by a rather ominous looking man called Arlington Steward (Frank Langella) who presents to them a simple proposition. Push the button inside the box and someone, somewhere unknown to them will die and they will receive a million dollars in return, and if they don’t the box will be taken from them after 24 hours. The rest of the proceedings are not merely about the couple’s decision but much more manifold to such an extent that every character that appears on screen holds some clue to what is going on. Therefore, talking any further about the plot will not only present major spoilers but also spoil the charm of watching things unfold.
“The Box”, when it begins is one of the movies that don’t just need but commands attention. The characters captivate, the plot intrigues and the rustic feel of 1976 is beautifully captured on screen. There is almost an absence of filler sequences as every scene builds on beautifully to increase the suspense about what’s going on. Diaz is great as woman with confusions about what’s right and wrong. Langella is gentle yet menacing (almost in league with Jigsaw!!) but the character that surprised me was Mardsen, primarily because I never thought that that he could act! The way the movie sets itself for the second half is praiseworthy.
But the trouble with “The Box” begins with its second half. It’s a movie that begins to get complex and confusing not because the plot desires it but just for the sake of being so. (A minor spoiler ahead) I had no clue that the movie belonged to the sci-fi genre and its TWZ inspired plot, but the way it appears make it rather brazen yet boring. By the time the movie ends, the complex plot details that unravel seem to look much prettier in their knotty design earlier. The movie is almost like a roller-coaster that reaches its peak midway and is a big downhill then on. It raises various questions, questions about morality, humanity etc. Sadly, with “The Box”, you are too bored to even make an effort to find the answers and just watch the director falling prey to his own ambitiousness.
I couldn’t help but draw an analogy to a similar venture that appeared last year- “Franklyn”. Both the movies had unique, ambitious plots, both developed for screen in a refreshing manner, both possessed twists in the tales that do not appear till the very end. Unfortunately, both were also uninteresting and failed to entertain by the time we get set for the epilogue. In short, movies that is just good enough for rentals!
RATING: **1/2 (out of 5)

I will leave off with something more entertaining than this movie and that’s the new Iron Man 2 trailer!! :)


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