Birdman, movie review

Birman is a film about Art. It a film about the rejection of “lowbrow” entertainment and the celebration of “truth” in art. Throughout the film the main character, Riggan, struggles with a duality within himself. On the one hand wanting fame, recognition, and appreciation, and on the other side, he wants to create something meaningful. His desire for fame is directly personified as a voice in his head that talks to him throughout the film. His vision of truth is challenged through out the film by The actor Mike, as well as the theater critic, Tabitha. Mike is a method actor who thrives of “realness” and “truth,” while at the same time is able to pander to the press and draw crowds. He infuriates Riggan a few times with his complete devotion to authenticity. Tabitha challenges Riggan by epitomizing the desire for “highbrow” art in theater, a desire he shares. Ultimately it is her approval he must secure in order to consider himself successful.

There seemed to be a fair amount of self referencing in Birdman. the director, Alejandro Conzález Iñárritu, uses the medium of film to discuss the shortcomings of modern film. The main character feels a combination of nostalgia and shame about his former days as an comic book action super hero. The actor, Michael Keaton played Batman in the 1989 film. film is about realness in art and

to that end the Iñárritu employed a shooting style that involved making the entire movie seem like a continuous shot. Despite this style, the film still jumps ahead in time when necessary, which along with the voice in Riggan’s head as well as his private displays of supernatural powers gives the film a magical realism that I feel was woven in nicely with Riggan’s perspective.

By Alex Van Gelder

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