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Oxygen - An Interesting Film With A Peculiar Storyline

Oxygen - An Interesting Film With A Peculiar Storyline

A woman (Mélanie Laurent) awakens in a futuristic cryo-chamber with no memory of how or where she came from. She has no idea who she is and only knows her alias, Omicron 267. Her pod, on the other hand, is rapidly running out of oxygen.

Oxygen — or Oxygène in its original French — was conceived before the epidemic and brilliantly captures the claustrophobic worries of the 'rona age. Alexandre Aja shot the film with a minimal cast (Inglourious Basterds' Mélanie Laurent eventually signed on) and crew in lockdown where the synergy between subject matter and the world around it couldn't have been more apt. Originally set to star Anne Hathaway (who starred in her own pandemic film, Locked Down), then Noomi Rapace (who remains an executive producer here), Alexandre Aja shot the film with a minimal cast ( Aja, who has previously exploited the fear of killer fish (Piranha 3D) and killer alligators (Crawl), now turns his attention to a more comprehensive examination of isolation and identity. In theory, it sounds like a high-tech version of Ryan Reynolds' trapped-in-a-coffin film Buried; in truth, Oxygen is much much more, because of an amazing Laurent.

The notion is out of this world. Omicron 267 (Laurent) is a woman who is enveloped in a cocoon and has restraining straps over her chest when she wakes up. She rapidly realizes she's in a high-tech cryogenic chamber, but she has no recollection of where she is, how she got there, or, maybe worst of all, who she is. MILO (Medical Interface Liaison Operator, portrayed by Quantum Of Solace's Mathieu Amalric), an onboard computer system designed to monitor her status, begins to provide answers.

Aside from the amnesia, Omicron 267's main issue is that she is running out of oxygen, which is currently at 35% and counting (at three per cent, the CEP, or Charitable Euthanasia Protocol, activates). The excitement of Oxygen kicks in when Omicron 267 starts negotiating frantically with MILO to attempt and gain the answers that would fill in the blanks in her background and set her free (the only thing preventing her is that she can't remember the Administrator's password, which is a mordant satire on modern life). There are flashes of possible memories (the sea, a husband, a hospital gurney), a dialogue with the cops as they try to locate the pod, and a run-in with a needle on an arm that administers sedatives or palliative care. Then, inspired, she asks MILO to perform a DNA test that proves to be game-changing.

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