The star cast of Universals’ “Jurassic World: Dominion” was one of the first in the world to return to the movie sets, but soon the shooting was shut down due to COVID scare on 7th October, 2020. The shooting was being done amidst strict protocols, but still, in the initial testing, somebody had come positive. It was decided that the shooting would resume in two weeks. “The Bubble,” directed by Judd Apatow, is a satire on the whole event, showing us that often adversity becomes so absurd that humor is born out of it. The reality itself becomes so bizarre that you start finding it amusing. I mean, while watching all these science fiction films, did we ever think that the whole world could experience a pandemic in reality?
“The Bubble,” apart from mocking the whole shooting in a pandemic situation, often quaffs humor out of situations by stating the obvious. It addresses the elephant in the room in more than one situation, and makes its characters devoid of any pretentiousness to bring out a harsh, raw, and yet waggish reality. The characters cut to the chase directly, without beating too much in the bush, and often abstain from practicing any kind of customaries, since they can’t think properly after being caged for so long. So basically, their behavior is in stark contrast to any character from an authentic period British drama.
Pam Brady and Judd Apatow simulate a mock-ish approach and take us through the strange experience of being on a movie set that looked worse than a prison during a time when the world was shut down, but a studio couldn’t afford to lose its money, even if it meant risking the lives of those who were involved.
‘The Bubble’ Plot Summary
In the early days of the pandemic, the world faced a shortage of quality content. So one of the most famous movie franchises took the mantle to provide the world with something that they can cherish. Cliff Beast is no ordinary movie franchise. It had made a legacy for itself (at least the actors thought so). It was an epic, one-of-a-kind dinosaur drama. It has a cult following. There were nerds who read and knew about each and every intricacy of the dinosaurs and their types.
Actors are invited to come to a studio, stay there for a few months in a bubble, complete their shoot, and go back home feeling proud of themselves.
Gavin, the line producer of the film, is blatantly clear about the perception he holds about actors. He tells Gunther and Bola, who are responsible for maintaining the strict COVID protocol, to not believe the actors, even for a moment. He tells them that actors are selfish and insecure people, and they need to be praised every moment.
Carol Cobb is called back once again in the sixth installment of Cliff Beasts. She has a bad reputation as she had earlier left the franchise and wasn’t a part of the previous installment. She says to her manager, Marti, that she cannot come as her boyfriend is in a very fragile state due to the pandemic. Marti convinces her that it is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and, after the kind of reviews her earlier film, Jerusalem Rising, got, she does not have much of an option.
Lauren Van Chance meets Carol and tells her that even when her film, Jerusalem Rising, had got four percent on rotten tomatoes, she thinks that Carol did a good job. Carol doesn’t understand whether she was being appreciated or mocked at.
After a long marriage, Dustin Mulray and Lauren Van Chance got a divorce. They had adopted a 16-year-old boy named Raphael just before getting separated.
Krystal Kris is a tik-tok star with a huge following, and that is the only reason she has been called to be a part of the film. Sometimes Krystal feels like taking a break from making those videos (an act that would have qualified as humanitarianism), but her mother tells her that the audience would forget her if she constantly does not upload content (thus not granting any clemency to mankind).
Dieter Bravo, was a legend and Lauren congratulates him on his exceptional performance in his recent film, Hunger Strike. But the pandemic had left the prolific actor a bit disoriented. He is perpetually high and runs away from commitments.
Sean Knox had started a lifestyle brand called Harmony Ignite. He had written a book too, which contained his thoughts and some words of wisdom. He came on board with a newfound exuberance.
Darren Eigan was the captain of the ship and the director of Cliff Beast Part Six. Gavin said a lot of good things about him as he read out his scripted lines without an ounce of conviction. Darren, while working at Home Depot, had shot a brilliant film called “Tiles of Love” and was basking in its success. Darren tells the actors how brilliant they are, and ironically chooses to not trust them and take matters into his own control.
The shooting begins, but soon the actors start experiencing great difficulties coping with the protocols. Somebody comes positive, and they have to quarantine once again. Dustin Mulray wants to change the script as he feels that, being a part of the franchise from the very start, it is his duty to point out the absurdities of the script. Dustin and Lauren decide to come back together and give their marriage a shot once again. Carol meets a soccer player who plays for Betis. He was also staying in the same hotel with his team. He was a big fan of Carol’s character Dr. Lacie, (maybe the only one) that she had played in her last film that was thrashed by the critics unanimously. Howie, a cast member, was done with the shoot and the protocol, so he decided to leave. Gavin asked him to stay, as they were in the middle of a shoot. But he doesn’t listen. The next day, they shoot a sequence where they show that the dinosaurs have killed Howie’s character, Jarrar. Soon after this incident, Mr. Best was appointed as the head of security. He is a man of extreme measures. He puts a tracking device on every cast member and does not hesitate to even shoot them if required. The instructions were very clear: no actor should escape unless and until the movie was completed.
Major Spoilers Ahead
‘The Bubble’ Ending Explained: Was Darren Eigan Able To Finish Cliff Beast 6?
Dieter falls for the Russian receptionist, Anika, and believes that he has found his soul mate. Carol’s boyfriend, Josh, back home, starts dating another woman named Monica, a waitress who had attended the couple on Valentine’s Day. She hooks up with the soccer player, thinking that it will turn into something serious, but he tells her that he already has five kids with three women.
Paula, the studio head, warns Gavin that if they fail to complete the shoot, then he would be responsible for a 50 billion dollar corporation going down.
Carol decides to burn down the machinery of corporate capitalism. But before she could do so, Mr. Best shoots Lauren, who was trying to escape the facility, thereby fizzling out the revolution. Carol tries to upload a video on social media, telling the people how their freedom was snatched by the studio heads but it was deleted by Carla, who was the daughter of the stuntman and also very good friends with the tik-tok sensation Krystal Kris. Later they come to know that Carla was a mole and was paid to be friends with the cast, by the producers. Dieter almost dies of a drug overdose, and the incident unites the cast in ways that they had not imagined. They together plot a plan to escape the facility. Sean Knox, who had learned to fly a helicopter for a scene, somehow manages to make an escape with the cast.
Darren Eigan, the director who was left with incomplete footage, decides to convert the action drama into a documentary. The documentary is about a disastrous production, and as the entire nation was talking about it, it garnered a lot of attention and finally allowed the studio to earn a profit.
“The Bubble,” streaming on Netflix, is entertaining in snippets. Its run time of more than 120 minutes does not support its cause, and the film seems a bit stretched at times, not able to grab enough attention. The underlying critique of the times we live in does provide for some meaty moments that are clad in the robes of humor. If you are somebody who enjoys experimental and spoof-ish comedies then you can give it a shot but refrain from going in with high hopes.
“The Bubble” is a 2022 Satire Comedy film directed by Judd Apatow.