Film Review: Birdman (2014) "The Unexpected Neo-Noir for My Ignorance"

SaigonDeManilaStarred Page By SaigonDeManila, 25th Jan 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Reviews>Film & TV>Film-Noir

A film review about an aging actor who wanted to proved himself on his acting abilities beyond his forte and career mortality.


"..chance to finally do some work that actually means something"
-Riggan Thomson

The much awaited Michael Keaton come of age performance came in his portrayal as Riggan Thomson . The movie is about a fading Hollywood created box office actor known for playing the superhero Birdman back in Riggan heydays some 30 years ago. Riggan is seemingly under some schizophrenic spell of "imaginary" alter ego of Birdman, that kept tormenting the central character throughout most of the story. The conflict keeps the movie audience entertained next to power house acting (of major cast) because of the series of spectacular feats such as levitation, mind over matter power including some super hero skills like flying. These ambiguities however was so consistent that engulf the whole story from beginning to end that lead regular viewer lost without the aid of some synopsis and after thoughts research to make themselves educated in this quite unfamiliar film of Alejandro G. Inarritu wicked direction

Super ego...

Riggan hopes to rewrite his storied career now already in twilight years by making a projected master piece on Broadway by writing, directing, and starring his demanding play in the adaptation of Raymond Carver's short story "What We Talk About When We Talk About Love". The play seemed a well place collaboration by people close to his heart through out his life and career; one is his best friend and lawyer Jake (Zach Galifianakis), his girlfriend Laura (Andrea Riseborough) with first-time Broadway actress Lesley (Naomi Watts) and daughter Sam (Emma Stone), as his personal assistant. All seemed on the threshold of his grasp to finally shun the critics but the twist came when his nemesis came in another actor Ralph- on the cross road to steal his final lighting

Riggan was continuesly haunt by his "imagined" alter ego Birdman throughout the story. questioning his abilities or even source of his own mysticism. With mounting pressure to make his magnum opus a success he device an epic thespian swan song. Determined to make his greatest performance memorable and realistic, on opening night, Riggan uses a real gun for the final scene, and shoots his nose off on stage. The brutality however become his accidental serendipitous moment as he earns a standing ovation from audience than the shock value he intended to except for Tabitha, who leaves during the applause. In the hospital, Jake tells Riggan that Tabitha gave the play a rave review from critics. After Sam visits Riggan in his room, Riggan encountered again Birdman on the toilet. He then climbs onto the window ledge and then disappears. When Sam returns, Riggan is gone. She looks down at the street, then up at the sky, and smiles.

My verdict

Unlike Alfonso Cuadron's 2006 Children of Men film that use a challenging "one take " effect. Inarritus' Birdman used the same technique extensively to bring on the audience to the mind of the protagonist and full virtual walk through of the characters inside the theater without slicing the whole theater into a doll house of big brother's camera drones and bots. This dark comedy however original seemed more tailor made to its own habitat -stage play. The narcissism theme is evidently the most powerful element than the aestheticism of this refreshing story. The special effects are commercial try to attract general audience specially in its teaser -movie trailer run. The film is a genuine statement unlike other wash up Hollywood milled comic adaptations to silver screen recipe serving the masses who still have the child stuff addiction in their systemic puberty heroes. The musical score is quite annoying and reminds me more of another film (whiplash).The ending however makes a lasting stroke of brilliance of artistic dispute and leaves Birdman open to audience interpretation to merit an extended thumbs up for theatrical neo-noir to feed movie-goer's ignorance like of myself.

curtain calls:

The film cast are :

Michael Keaton
Zach Galifianakis
Edward Norton
Andrea Riseborough
Amy Ryan
Emma Stone
Naomi Watts

Written by:
A.G. Iñárritu (director)
Nicolás Giacobone
Alexander Dinelaris Jr.
Armando Bo

Images from: Wiki commons and own image rendition

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author avatar SaigonDeManila
Dear friends and foes: I am a teacher, a poet, an artist, self-published author on art & poetry, CSN Life Skill coach and an international marketer.

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author avatar Carol Roach
8th Dec 2015 (#)

a side note schizophrenia is a mental disorder not a spell

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author avatar SaigonDeManila
8th Dec 2015 (#)

A figure of speech is a literary device seldom taken in its literal meaning (notice the word "under some"+adjective before a noun?) else even idioms can bringforth petty arguments among intellectual-divide community.

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author avatar Susan Hauck
9th Dec 2015 (#)

Awesome post! I don't usually read film reviews, but yours are incredibly interesting and hard to "put down", as in put down the book. I keep turning your "pages"! :-)

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author avatar SaigonDeManila
10th Dec 2015 (#)

Big big Thank you Susan...enjoy the rest of my articles!

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author avatar M G Singh
10th Dec 2015 (#)

Never saw the movie, but you have kindled my interest

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author avatar SaigonDeManila
10th Dec 2015 (#)

Thanks for the interest Madan that was a very nice compliment... This article was on my draft aince January and got the inch to finish it when i saw it again on cable the other night on Fox. Check your local sched and catch it this weekend.

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