One person dies; Another is born. Where does the soul go? Does
it take form in the new life? “Birth,” the new Nicole
Kidman film attempts to answer these questions, and while the
premise is superficially intriguing, the plot falls flat. Somewhere
along the way the story takes a fatal turn to pedophilia,
infidelity and psychological detachment from reality.
In the opening minutes of “Birth”, a 10 year-old
child, Sean (Cameron Bright), shows up at a birthday party claiming
to be Anna’s (Kidman) husband who died exactly 10 years ago.
day. This immediately complicates Anna’s plans to wed her
fiancé Joseph (Danny Hutson) and leads to a great deal of
astonishment among Anna’s friends and family.
The juvenile Sean is creepy, and director Jonathan Glazer does a
great job revealing the emotions of the characters in. The constant
use of close-ups and scenes void of dialogue allow the viewer to
indulge in the film’s images and raises the tension of the
plot. But after a bit, overusage of the close-up becomes
ineffectual. The film begins to digress to a tale of insane,
illogical events that completely destroy any measure of realism and
makes the viewer withdraw completely into fantasy.
In the film’s most contreoversial scene, Sean gets in the
bathtub with Anna. From here on, “Birth” becomes
excessively bizarre. This pattern of absurdity continues as Anna
kisses the young Sean really believes that he is her husband
The script for “Birth” does a good job emphasizing
the symbolic theme of birth, though it often truly seems unrelated
to the main drivers of the plot itself. And, while the film has a
few high points, the need to suspend reality while watching
“Birth” ultimately makes the movie a failure.
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars