‘Songbird’ preview: How soon is too soon for a COVID-based movie?


Courtesy of STXfilms

KJ Apa stars in SONGBIRD

COVID-19 is already well-known as the cause of our current pandemic, but it’s gaining even more attention for being heavily incorporated into some of our favorite television shows such as Chicago Med, This is Us, and South Park. While I understand the reasoning behind making the TV shows we love more current with the lives we live today, I don’t think it’s necessary to make a dramatic, dystopian thriller showing a not-so-farfetched outcome of the virus.

I was on YouTube one day when the trailer for this movie Songbird popped up on my feed. Since there haven’t been many new movies lately, I wanted to check it out. 

The first thing that I noticed was the disproportionate amount of dislikes to likes. I thought to myself that this must be a controversial movie, which only piqued my interest. 

After the preview ended, I found myself understanding why this movie was getting so much heat before its release. Let me put it this way — if you enjoy watching movies that provide a distraction from real life, then this film is definitely not for you.

The trailer opened up with “Three Little Birds” by Bob Marley and The Wailers playing in the background. This uplifting song is a great way to make the audience feel like everything is going well, but as the trailer went on, the tune began to sound darker as the conflict of the movie was introduced.

In this movie, it is the fourth year of lockdown and around 8.4 million people have died in just 2024 from COVID-23. Some people who are immune to COVID-23 wear a yellow wristband, so they are not shot on site by troops when seen outside of their homes.

Nico, played by KJ Apa, is immune to the virus, which means he does not have to wear a mask or stay at home in quarantine. His love interest, Sara, played by Sofia Carson, is susceptible to being infected. This means that the two of them can have no physical contact with each other, which poses the first problem in the plot.

Sara is suspected of having the virus and has to be quarantined on government order.  This causes Nico to go on a “mission” to find her and protect her from being quarantined. The trailer did not explain any specific reason why quarantining poses a large threat to Sara, but my guess would be that most of the people who are quarantined never come back.

The trailer showed brief moments of what seemed to be the rich enjoying the forbidden luxuries that everyone else can’t have. This could be hinting at corruption in the government or even in the people who run the “Q-Zones.” The Q-Zones are quarantine camps where the people who have COVID-23 stay until they get better or die.

If I am being completely honest, the plot sounds like a pretty decent movie if we weren’t all living it to an extent. It sounds action-packed with a bit of romance and even horror. 

The one thing that I personally don’t care for is the romanticizing of the virus. I feel like the creators of this movie are trying to put some ironic twist that the one thing that is keeping us all apart is bringing our two protagonists together, and that honestly seems a little too cheesy for my taste.

The movie has many famous faces such as Demi Moore, KJ Apa, Sofia Carlson, Craig Robinson, Alexandra Daddario, Bradley Whitford, and many more. It raises the question as to what their motives are. Are they hoping that this movie will age well in 10-20 years and be seen as something too ahead of its time, or is it just another job to them?

After watching the trailer of Songbird, I have many different questions regarding the actors, the plot, and how it was filmed during the earlier stages of the pandemic. I am 100 percent open to having my opinion on the movie change, but I do not think it’s likely. 

There were an overwhelming amount of dislikes on the previews, and I think that contributes to my point that a majority of people are not ready for this movie. I know I’m not.