“Earthquake Bird” is a mystery-drama now streaming on Netflix starring Alicia Vikander and directed by Wash Westmoreland. This one centers on Vikander who plays a translator with a dark past who gets into a relationship with a photographer while at the same time sparks up a friendship with a traveler who will eventually go missing. I thought there was a large amount of potential for this one but in the end, it simply lacked the psychological tension or the intrigue that the trailers seemed to showcase. The movie isn’t terrible are there were sections of it that captured my imagination.
The direction and cinematography create an alluring, stylistic atmosphere that at the same time is equally ominous. The performance from Vikander was primed to deliver a character with layers of mystery that could make her a bit of a wildcard in the plot-line. However, the problem for me was that this story-line which built a foreboding eeriness early on, in the end felt highly anti-climactic. There were several directions I wanted to see this story go to effectively lure me into the psyche of a broken character. Yet where it did go resulted in something lacking the sexual tension of a gripping erotic-mystery. Without the needed layers to be a twisted mind-trip either.
The wasn’t much appeal in wanting to connect with the characters or what their motives were because no one was really fleshed out. Vikander was good but should have had much more of a dramatic impact and in the end, she felt restrained by the material she was working with. The relationship dynamics were not given the substance needed to buy into their connections with one another from more than just surface-level. It results in a lack of interest which did make the movie drag in places. It could have been saved with some misdirection in the closing-act. But as it was, this turned out a be a mystery that teases many elements but doesn’t completely come through on any. And when the end credits finally roll it felt like an average film missing the payoff it certainly had the potential to deliver on. The cast had the skill, the visual-appeal was artistic, but the screenplay to this novel lacked the character drive needed to invest in them, or where this story takes them.
EARTHQUAKE BIRD – VIDEO REVIEW