Birdman: A Review

It is not unusual that people fight against the whole world, fearing defeat and freaking out every time they see their worst fears in front of their eyes. But it gets all the more uncanny when the fight is against one’s own self, against a shadow that grows larger with the setting sun, overpowering one with large scary wings.

Birdman, a film about coming in terms with the duality, with the shady reflection of the soul split in two, an anagnorisis of futility, an epiphany of arousal.

I am not qualified enough to comment on the film as a film but it was an experience which is both unique and unexpected. the seamless continuum of a single shot, representing the unbroken continuity of stage and life for that matter creates a sweeping effect of inevitability. the characters become more real on stage, just as Mike’s arousal and Riggan’s suicidal shot; the difference between real and reel melts away as the lines from Macbeth echo from distant graves.

Riggan’s world of imagination struggles every second to overpower his consciousness. the conflict and tension reverberates with the drumbeats which subside only when he makes his final escape into the world of imagination, when the incessant drums give way to beautifully soothing organ music.

The entire film climaxes to that moment. a father who breaks into saddest tears for having missed his daughter’s birth since he had been busy videotaping the birth realises that all his life had been an escape from all that mattered in his hiding behind a facade.

Birdman is about that moment that goes beyond the need of justifying or differenciating imagination from real. a daughter’s smile, looking up in the sky, finally turns riggan into the winged champion he had always aspired to become.
A unique effort by a highly imaginative director, Gonzalez inarritu; an unbelievable enactment by Michael Keaton (as Riggan) and a great performance by Emma Stone (huge eyed Sam), and great background score that captures the right mood.

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