Have you ever felt lost within your own life, struck by grief, unable to adjust to life after the loss of a loved one? The new Netflix flick of 2021, “The Starling,” highlights these feelings of grief in a way that shows how common loss truly is and
how any one event can end one’s life. Instead of waiting for their life to change, the person must work towards changing
their own life.
The main character, Lilly, portrayed by Megan McCarthy, is a lost woman who is looking for a way out of her issues; her husband is away at a psychiatric clinic. Her struggle, shown through her need to work at a grocery store for long hours, whilst dealing with maintaining her family property, displays the common struggle of a single spouse. The film highlights the fact that she, like most, struggles with mental and emotional health issues, due to the burden left by her family situation. Theodore Melfi, director of “The Starling,” provides the viewer with the subplot of a bird issue, one involving a local starling. Leading to great emotional distress, this is eventually added to Lilly’s already immense pile of issues, leading her to seek external assistance.
His use of this subplot is ingenious in that she then needs to start relying on others, or in this case, specifically a local veterinarian named Larry, played by Kevin Kline, for these emotional issues. Because he has experience in both fields of therapy and veterinary studies, Melfi uses Larry as a way out of her issues, to who will soon be able to not only assist her with her bird issue, but her emotional ones as well. Her growing relationship with him will soon aid her on her path of emotional reassurance and mental wellness to recover from her trauma. Larry is crucial to her future well-being since his advice for her begins to change her outlook on life. The director’s use of his character gives insight to the theme of having others who help one understand their past, repair their present and shape their future.
Although this film gives us an important and somewhat serious message about emotional assistance, it still gives a simple outlook on life and an easygoing and almost sappy story that grabs the hearts of its viewers. Through its use of important themes and enjoyable emotional events, the film is great for the average drama enjoyer and has earned a solid 4.25 out of five.