Birdman (or the Unexpected Virtue of ignorance)
‘The type of love that I’m talking about is absolute!’
Birdman is about a slightly washed up actor name Riggan Thomson (Micheal Keaton) who is mostly known to play the fictional superhero known as Birdman twenty years prior to the events of the film, and Thompson tries to make a comeback by writing, directing and starring in his own broadway show. Birdman also stars Edward Norton as Mike Shiner, a cocky actor and star of the show, and Emma Stone as Sam, a drug addict, along with Zach Galifiankis as Jake, Riggin’s lawyer, Naomi Watts and Andrea Risenbrough (the latter of whom I previously saw in Shadow Dancer).
Generally, I heard mixed reviews about the film. Some people said that it was terrible and depressing, and other people liked it. I’m also lead to believe that it won a couple of Oscars. I liked how the camera followed the main character around, perhaps playing with his subconscious, and the voice that he is plagued by is in fact his younger self as Birdman. It is up to your interpretation into what really happened at the end. He either jumped and fell to his death or he jumped and thought that he was Birdman.
As for the rest of the film, I didn’t really like Emma Stone or Naomi Watts as actresses, but that is only my opinion. I do like how Thomson’s Birdman character was the voice of his subconscious, pushing him to near insanity. While watching this film, it made me realise how much of a huge part journalism actually plays in reviewing and giving impressions about a play or a film. I only watched it because it was on Netflix and it had Edward Norton in it. Although the drumming background noise got a bit frustrating, I think it was intended to build suspense.
I do like the camera work i.e the 360 degree shots, the continuous long shots throughout the film. There’s the constrast between the rather dingy looking backstage at the theatre and the part of the theatre that people pay good money to see, and the difference between the young, heroic Birdman, and the old and rather washed up Riggan Thompson. There are also various discussions that say that Black Swan and Birdman are the same sort of film and they’re both about people who think that they are birds and who strive for perfection.
Apart from that, the movie went in for a bit too long, and I ended up having to watch it in two parts. At times, it dragged on, sometimes I liked it, sometimes I didn’t. Edward Norton had a good screen prescence, and I don’t think I’ve watched a Micheal Keaton film before but he’s rather well known. It was also rather brave of his character to run through Times Square in his briefs.
Good cast, interesting camera work, great perspectives and considerably better than Map to the Stars (another movie about fame) but generally average everywhere else.