Warning: This article contains major spoilers for the movie Bliss on Amazon Prime.
If you’re someone intrigued by simulation theory, it’s a good weekend for new movies. Not only is Rodney Ascher’s new documentary on the subject, An Error in the Matrix, now available on demand, there’s also a new movie starring Owen Wilson and Salma Hayek called Bliss, free on Amazon Prime for subscribers.
Written and directed by Mike Cahill, Bliss is a riveting film that will warp your sense of reality. but it can also leave you a bit confused. fear not, because the decider is here. Let’s get into the bliss movie plot and the bliss movie ending explained.
what is the movie bliss (2021) about? what is the plot of happiness explained?
Greg (Owen Wilson) has a dead-end job in customer service. we found out from a phone call with her daughter that she is divorced and that she doesn’t have a great relationship with her family. however, his daughter would like her to come to her graduation and he promises that she will be there.
Greg is called into a meeting with his boss Bjorn (Steve Zissis), who fires him on the grounds that he never focuses on his work. In a fit of rage, Greg pushes Bjorn, who hits his head on the desk and dies. Instead of calling 911, Greg hides the body and flees. He meets a woman in a bar named Isabel (Salma Hayek) with telekinesis who claims she is “real” because she siphoned her powers. She tells Greg that if he can help her retrieve a special amulet, that she has special powers to control the fake world, she will help him avoid prison for her crime. she does, and then isabel tells her that the world is an artificial simulation and that greg can control it. he wants his boss’s body to fall out the window, and everyone thinks he killed himself. problem solved!
greg goes to hang out with isabel at her makeshift home in a tent under a bridge. she shows him the ropes of reality manipulation, and he tells her about her drawings of a dream house on a peninsula. isabel tells greg that these drawings are not a dream, but a memory of a real life outside the simulation. She also tells Greg that they are together in real life, and the two fall into a dreamy romance, until the amulet’s power is depleted.
Meanwhile, Greg’s daughter Emily (Nesta Cooper) is worried about him and asks her brother Arthur (Jorge Lendeborg Jr.) to help her look for him. Arthur, who has a bad relationship with his father, refuses, so Emily leaves alone. She finds Greg while she waits for Isabel to “fill in the amulet” in a shady neighborhood. she tells him that she missed her graduation by two weeks. we realize that she has spent much more time with isabel than we thought. We also begin to suspect that Isabel is lying to her, but Isabel insists that Greg’s daughter is not real.
isabel says that greg is being seduced by the simulation. Greg tells him that he doesn’t believe him, so he asks them to take a new special “blue crystal” that will kick them out of the simulation. he wakes up in a fancy room, with about ten people on chairs connected to a giant water tank with brains. isabel tells her that these are the only people in the simulation that are real. The two go to lunch in this beautiful new utopian future world, which includes Greg’s dream house. although everyone seems to know greg as “dr. Wittle,” Greg has no memory of this world. Isabel says that he will disappear. Greg decides that he doesn’t care if the memory of him never comes back, because he is so excited to discover this new world. In the other world, we see that Emily is still looking for her father.
isabel and greg spend a beautiful day in the world of utopia. But at the end of the day, a doctor named Chris (Bill Nye) tells Greg that rumors are spreading that there are problems with Isabel’s research. Greg tells Isabel to publish his research now because he’s not going back to the “brain box” simulation. she agrees, but only if she can interview him on stage. When she is asked if she is missing something in her life, Greg thinks about the daughter she left behind, but says nothing. then greg sees his daughter at the reception of isabel’s talk. Emily tells Greg that she has been to her store, confusing Greg about what is real and what is not. Emily tells Greg that she has to choose a world. she acknowledges that both worlds may be real to him and tells him to choose what is best for him.
how does the bliss end? what is the ending of the movie bliss, explained?
Greg eats a few more yellow pills as chaos reigns in utopia. isabel insists that they must be bringing something from the bad world of the simulation into the good world and that the only way to fix it is by taking ten blue crystals each. the two wake up in the bad world, in what looks suspiciously like a drug den.
greg finds his boss bjorn alive and freaks out. isabel tells greg that they restarted it. Isabel and Greg steal a guy’s wallet and have more money to buy “blues” from a man named Kendo (Ronny Chieng). Isabel shoots Kendo but insists that he will not die. At this point, it seems clear that Isabel is a homeless drug addict, and now Greg is too.
the police are surrounding them. Isabel says that there are only enough crystals for a person to return to the “real world”. Greg tells Isabel to kill him and they will meet in the real world. but then, somewhat abruptly, he changes his mind. he says that he loves the unpredictable world of “simulation” that isabel has created and that he won’t leave it. Isabel takes the drugs and turns herself in to the police, while Greg escapes and checks into rehab. he describes to the support group his addiction journey, chasing “bliss.” although it is not stated explicitly, we can infer that the world of utopia was not real. it was a fantasy that revolved around the feeling of being high on methamphetamine (also known as “blue crystal”). and the “powers” that isabel and greg had earlier in the film were also fantasy, revolving around the feeling of being high on powdered methamphetamine, also known as the yellow pills in the amulet.
the final scene of the film shows greg meeting his daughter with flowers he found on the side of the road, in a kind of hybrid of the world of utopia and simulation. she hugs him it is implied that greg is recovering from her addiction and making progress, but he still has a long way to go.
see bliss on amazon studios