Vivarium is a Millennials’ Nightmare

The Stream: Slightly boring and just weird.

The Big Screen: Super weird and a conversation starter.

The Final: A slightly boring conversation piece with some unintentional comedic weird moments

– S2S: Movie Review and Trip Fontaine
Director: Lorcan Finnegan
Writers: Lorcan Finnegan (story by), Garret Shanley (story by) | 1 more credit »
Stars: Imogen PootsJesse Eisenberg | See full cast & crew »
Genre: Sci-Fi, Horror, Mystery, Comedy?
Rating: R (strong language, slight nudity)
Runtime: 1 hour 32 minutes
Platform: Watch on Prime Video included with Prime

Hey Streamers! This week we got straight up depressed and watched the first thing in our watchlist. Vivarium, you’re up to bat. We weren’t too picky, and we’d heard the movie was “interesting”. The synopsis of Vivarium goes as follows: a young couple looking for the perfect home find themselves trapped in a mysterious labyrinth-like neighborhood of identical houses. I know that was absolutely horrifying for you millennials out there and I think that’s the point. Let’s get to it.

First, this movie reminds me of a little diddy I used to love. A cult classic, if you will:

“I have a blue house with a blue window
Blue is the color of all that I wear
Blue are the streets and all the trees are too
I have a girlfriend and she is so blue
… Blue are the feelings that live inside me
I’m blue da ba dee da ba daa
Da ba dee da ba daa, da ba dee da ba daa, da ba dee da ba daa
Da ba dee da ba daa” (“Blue (Da Ba Dee)” by Eiffel 65… If I were green I would die, If i were green i would die.

Why do I say that you ask? Well as the poster and description suggest, the maze of homes and interior of homes is just a green bundled mess. Eiffel 65 would’ve been disgusted and shocked by this green anomaly. The setting of the film is basic yet simultaneously complex. How will our protagonists get out? Are they alone? Why was this house so cheap? I know you house hunters out there will ask the same question after watching. Either way, the setting of the film sets that freaky atmosphere.

Second, we have the cast. Some of us love Jesse Eisenberg and others are not so high on him. This role is in no way one of his better one and, in fact, I think the movie really missed out on using him better. He’s got more range in acting ability than the director, Lorcan Finnegan, allowed him to portray in this movie. Should’ve let him go full Social Network or Luthor. As for Imogen Poots, she was “just alright for me dog”. She definitely hit the range of emotions here but her character was the “poots”. I don’t know if that was on purpose or not. The real star of the movie was my man, Martin. No, not Lawrence. The character Martin, while weird and strange is the only thing worth watching in the film. How will Martin act now? And why are these fools even following him to an open house? But I digress.

Finally, the movie isn’t really about the characters or the setting as much as the meaning of everything together. Where the film lacks in storyline creativity, it makes up with in storyline and movie detail analysis. My wife, Trip and I sat here on the phone for an hour talking about what certain images meant or were trying to represent in society. From what we gather, the director and story writers think millennials lives suck and are trapped in the monotony of the aspirations previous generations’ American Dream. And there is something strange about cuckoo birds too (pay attention). We would enjoy reading your comments about your thoughts after you’ve watched.

Trip: Ahem! If I may interject for a quick couple notes? While watching Vivarium, I definitely thought of this film as the existential nightmare for millennials. My biggest problem with the movie is that it is so obvious in what it is doing that I felt like screaming “just get to the point” throughout its 90 minutes. Consequently, I found the film kind of repetitive and so “boring” is an apt description for something that otherwise has a potentially interesting premise. I will allow that there are some complicated themes to unpack after it’s all done. Also, I think Imogen Poots was fine. She did what she was called to do and is the audience surrogate here, especially when the film examines parenthood in this day and age. Jesse Eisenberg, on the other hand, now makes me feel icky, and I think that’s because he’s very much associated with that smarmy, creep he’s played in the past, Mark Zuckerberg. He’s not doing that here, but the presence is still off-putting.

S2S: Official Rating Scale

Long story short, Vivarium is a strangely boring and ironically chuckle-worthy film. The cast is small and only delivers a couple notable moments. The film is worth a handful of popcorn for our creepy friend Martin and the post film symbolism analysis. If you get bored and have Amazon Prime, check out Vivarium to go house hunting for your forever home.

Trip: Yep, it’s a decent conversation piece. Check it out and send your comments about what it all means!