The Stranger: Is Orbit a Real Cab Service?

In Veena Sud’s thriller film ‘The Stranger,’ Clare is a rideshare driver for the cab service Orbit. Her life takes a turn when she accepts Carl E., a psychopathic murderer, as her passenger on a random night. During the trip, he threatens to kill her and asks her to narrate a story that will convince him to spare her life. Clare escapes from the murderer after crashing her car. Even though she tries to report the homicidal passenger to Orbit, she fails to do it since he reports her first. Orbit’s features are identical to the ones of the numerous cab/rideshare services in the country. However, we can’t find an Orbit cab in reality as Carl does in the film!

The Significance of Orbit

Orbit is a fictional cab/rideshare service Veena Sud conceived for the narrative of ‘The Stranger.’ Even though its features resemble popular transportation apps/companies such as Uber, Lyft, Wingz, etc., Orbit doesn’t have a counterpart in real life. Still, it is a significant part of the film’s engrossing narrative. The foundation of Clare’s tale is her life-altering encounter with Carl E. The time the psychopath gets with her alone in the middle of a deserted region is the starting point of their cat-and-mouse game. Such meetings between two strangers always happen in reality when it comes to cab drivers and their passengers.

The narrative of the film becomes believable and engaging because the chances of a psychopath meeting a cab driver in a deserted region are immensely higher than in any other scenario. Such a meeting can also gradually transform from a normal one to a life-threatening one convincingly, as the film depicts. Globally, taxi drivers have been targeted by criminals of varying nature. These crimes range from murders to robberies and carjackings to abductions. Since it is alarmingly easy to lead a cab driver to an isolated location using real-life apps similar to Orbit, Sud must have found it easier to establish Clare’s vulnerability by making her a taxi driver.

Furthermore, cab services like Uber and Lyft offer mainly young people a “job” easily, especially when they are new to a city and all they have is a car and driving license to their name. Clare belongs to such a group. She moves to Los Angeles from her hometown in Kansas with several traumas. Her allegedly wrongful accusation against her high school teacher is a black mark on her file to earn a better job. Thus, the film also establishes the past of Clare using Orbit.

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