We follow a somewhat down-and out-guy, Greg, played by Owen Wilson, as he goes on this wild, reality-bending journey with Isabel, a charismatic woman who lives on the streets, played by Salma Hayek. Isabel tells Greg that the world is a simulation, an illusion, and, as such, doesn’t require a moral investment. None of this is real. The people you see around you are not real, she insists. There’s only about 16 of us real people in the whole world, the rest are fake-generated people. To prove her claim, she demonstrates a technique for telekinetically manipulating reality, almost like a conductor in an orchestra. This serves as very compelling evidence. As Greg himself learns to harness this world-bending power, he becomes freed from the guilt he was carrying around in his previous life, and embraces the fun, carefree thrill of the simulation.
Eventually, Greg’s daughter Emily, played by Nesta Cooper, tracks him down and tells him to come back to reality, saying his head is not on straight. Isabel tells Greg to ignore her, claiming she’s not real, she’s just a fake generated person. This becomes the major dramatic tension of the film – whose version of reality is real, Isabel’s or Emily’s?
Obviously, Greg has a tremendous reservoir of emotion for his daughter, and yet Isabel claims this girl, like his boss, like everyone they see, is nothing more than a video game character, a shadow on Plato’s proverbial cave wall. But this simulation argument has no power to dissuade Greg from feeling an attachment to Emily. So Isabel decides to up the ante of proof.
She and Greg will eject from the simulation to see the actual, real-world, which will serve as undeniable evidence of the truth. Bliss arrives on Amazon Prime on February 25th, 2021.