- User Rating: Excellent
Pros:Provocative, excellent acting
Cons:Not with me!
The Bottom Line: A parable of consequences of actions. A must-see film, especially for Diaz's acting
Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie's plot.
"The Box" is a metaphoric and atmospheric film, to say the least. That it is meant quite seriously becomes obvious through the deliberately serious acting by Cameron Diaz in a role unlike any other roles she has played.
A mother close to her son approaching his teen years, a wife faithfully bound to a brilliant scientist-husband who has not yet earned an elusive success, a teacher who inspires her students in non-traditional ways--Diaz plays each with aplomb, with serious intent. I always think of Diaz as the co-star of that Vegas movie with the handsome Ashton Crutcher and her partially fluff role. There is NO fluff in "The Box." This is a serious, even if freaky and strange, film about the nature of man/woman.
When faced with a decision to push a button (no alerts needed here because the premise of the button is shown on every advertisement). We know she pushes it and that someone will die, but we don't know the consequences. Consequences...Wouldn't you just know that pushing a button to get millions BUT simultaneously causing someone's death would have consequences?
The Prophet in the Old Testament warns that there is nothing new under the sun--that we commit the same ol, same ol, over and over. "The Box" shows us that premise so clearly. It's the Garden. Here's the apple. Obey or eat it? We know that decision and those consequences, but a box? With a button? Causing someone's death? Didn't Eve's decision cause Death, more or less? Metaphor. Life is metaphor, symbol, virtual reality. This film is just a reflection. You know, art imitating life...
Diaz's character's decision is not arbitrary. We experience her day. We know she has this disintegrated foot which becomes part of the hallucinatory aspect of the film that contributes to the button-pushing decision. We know she is not a fluff character. This woman is a high school teacher who is discussing a Sartre play with her class when one of the students asks to see her foot. Oddly enough (as odd goes in this film), she removes her boot to show her foot. Cause-and-effect, cause-and-effect.
Frank Langella plays the messenger, the delivery man, the executive's assistant who was struck by lightning only to become an other-ly type of human. He works for an-other, the "Boss." God perhaps? If it's God, it's that God to which some attribute evil. A loving God would not force such a decision on his creation. Except--the concept of Free Will. I could make either case that Diaz has free will or is fated (because of Eve's long-ago decision, or even God's Will that humans be disobedient so that he can show the Way back to obedience).
Dear Reader, do you "get" that this is a twisted film, full of darkness but potential light, OR light until darkness (evil decisions) enters? We are born into a "box" of our physical bodies, we live in boxes (houses), we travel in boxes (cars), we are buried in boxes. Langella's character points out the box metaphor (easily discerned). Much like good and evil, the box reflects man's nature. Good or evil? Both? And the decision? It hasn't changed. Just the consequences.
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Viewing Format: DVD
Video Occasion: Fit for Friday Evening
Suitability For Children: Suitable for Children Age 13 and Older