‘The Oxygen‘ film review: A claustrophobic film experience that is aided by Melanie Laurent’s grit
The film begins with a medical experiment gone wrong, in which one of the participants suffers brain damage. As we delve deeper into the hunt for mysterious cures, our protagonist’s mental state deteriorates further. With help from his lead actor, director Alexandre Aja weaves together a story that keeps you interested throughout most of it, save for the last. It’s almost as if French filmmaker Alexandre Aja knew what would happen in India during the second wave of COVID-19. His newest film follows a character who awakes in a medical cryo unit and must race against time to restore her memory before she runs out of oxygen.
For the majority of the film, the protagonist, played by Melanie Laurent, is not even aware of her own name. She’s just a number, and she might have been someone well-known in real life but out here she is just a number.
But who is she, and where is she? More significantly, where is she now?
0267 wakes up to find out she has only one friend, MILO, and that she is running out of breath. She tries calling the cops but it doesn’t go well for her. 0267 must figure out her history and clues hidden in it in order to escape the situation.
Oxygen is currently streaming on cinemahdv2 app
Oxygen follows in the footsteps of Danny Boyle’s 127 Hours (2010), Malayalam film Helen , and its Tamil remake Anbirkiniyal, which were all released recently. Oxygen’s appeal stems from its use of future and science fiction elements to heighten the drama of the protagonist’s quest.
This film is a tough one to watch, especially when we remember the necessity of oxygen in many parts of India today. It’s also worth noting that the cryo chamber is in a single location. This makes it more difficult for the viewer to comprehend. But, Alexandre, with the aid of his lead actor, manages to weave an exciting tale that keeps you interested almost the entire time save for the disappointing conclusion.
Keep an eye out for some of the exciting moments. When the protagonist is forced to harm herself in order to learn more, it’s quite common. When the time comes, she’ll make a major development that will assist her in making progress. The cast is completely committed throughout, and while all of this keeps you entertained, the lack of depth in the film’s other characters is a little disappointing.
The ethereal music, in addition to enhancing the suspense in Oxygen, provides an air of mystery. In this early scene, the protagonist is lit with hues of red and black that flicker on and off throughout. She sits up abruptly and examines her surroundings with worried perplexity. It’s the same type of uncertainty that life, and possibly oxygen, is currently feeling in India.
Stars:Mélanie LaurentMathieu Amalric(voice)Malik Zidi