(OR THE UNEXPECTED VIRTUE OF IGNORANCE)
February 3rd, 2015
In my opinion, Birdman is worthy of winning quite a few of the golden statues. Much to the dismay of some friends, I think there is something really quite special about this film. It is certainly not for everybody (WARNING: You must have an imagination to watch this film), as director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu lives up to his reputation as a bit of a surrealist. Yet the film still manages to make the audience feel as though they are quite literally walking in the footsteps of Michael Keaton’s character, Riggan Thomson. Shot in apparently continuous and cut-free sequence leading us through the St James Theatre in New York City to the beat of a continuous drum rhythm, completely immerses you in the film.
The film centres around Riggan Thomson’s attempt to reignite his career with a broadway production and banish his stereotype as a washed-up movie star. Emma Stone plays his daughter fresh out of rehab, or the voice of reason for the has-been actor. Puncturing her father’s ego in the most brilliant and brutal monologue as she lays insight on some of the harsh realities of life that probably hit home to every member of the audience.
Keaton’s character plays on himself in the Tim Burton Batman franchise. Riggan is a has-been actor known for his role as Birdman, which as summed up by his arch enemy the theatre critic made him ‘not an actor, but a celebrity’. With his alter ego of ‘Birdman’ not only resembling the dark caped crusader but even sounding like him with the famously over the top deep and husky voice (made even more comical by Christian Bale’s recent take on Batman). With Keaton as Batman and now Keaton as Riggan as Birdman, you can’t help but feel that Keaton is openly mocking himself and his typecast of the Batman we will forever associate him with.
With a lively and engaging soundtrack, brilliant cinematography, the hilarious Edward Norton and my bets on Michael Keaton as a strong contender for Best actor - this film is a must-see. Orchestrated in such a way that you will leave the cinema expecting to step out on to West 44th Street straight out of St.James Theatre, is surely an indication of a well-made and original film.