Birds of Paradise premiered on 24th September 2021 on Netflix. Written and directed by Sarah Adina Smith, based upon the 2019 novel Bright Burning Stars by A.K. Small, the American drama film stars Kristine Froseth, Diana Silvers, Jacqueline Bisset, and Stav Strashko alongside other cast members.
– Birds of Paradise review does not contain spoilers –
“It’s never been an even playing field. It’s always been about sex, blood, and money. It’s all that matters”
Birds of Paradise revolves around the lives of Kate Sanders and Marine Durand. Kate is ambitious, talented, and gifted and aspires to win the ballet competition prize i.e., a contract to join the Opera National de Paris. Upon Kate’s arrival in one of the most prestigious Ballet school’s in Paris- école de danse, she realises that things are not as simple as they may seem. It is a cruel, cutthroat competition and nobody cares for the other!
On the other hand, she soon befriends Marine (who recently lost his brother) after a tough start. They’re roommates and Marine is beautiful, mysterious and one of the best in her team. Furthermore, Kate comes from a financially weaker background and Marine is the daughter of an American ambassador. Notably enough, this factor plays an important part in their life stories.
Birds of Paradise is a beautiful film, one might need time to get their heads around what is happening as in various instances director Smith uses dreamlike hazy sequences that add to the symbolism in the film like friendship, power, fear, sex, and rivalry.
The film weaves the story of two girls desperate for glory in their own ways into a large fabric and complicates it over time. The way these characters grow close to each other only to fall apart and leave each other bruised is what makes up for the most part of the film. As Birds of Paradise progresses you see their hunger more for each other or for relationships or victory than for the art form itself. Here it is reduced down to merely a path in their entire journey of self-discovery.
Additionally, there is this particular aesthetic that the film follows that includes fantasy, sexual activities, and more and it is played with props like the Plague doctor masks, the jungle, and others.
Summing up, Birds of Paradise is a well-made movie and is suitable for young adults. It’s not a family film. Birds of Paradise works on various motifs/symbols, mind games, institutional warfare, art and wealth, and more. In a duration of approximately 90 minutes, the film goes through various themes and attempts to play them all out with perfection. Though, there are some typical teenage film troops here too but I guess, they are inevitable in any film that takes teenagers into account
Stream It or Skip It
STREAM IT! Birds of Paradise is a beautifully made film and I believe, there is something for everyone in there. The idea and theme that the film runs around can literally fit any mystical genre and you will enjoy it the same!
Birds of Paradise is streaming now on Amazon Prime Video.