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Film Review: “Birdman” (2014)


Some actors are destined to be remembered for only one specific role played in their youth. Once they reach perfection in their performance, it’s almost impossible to erase the fan’s memory of that role. An actor, known for one of most famous superhero roles ever is haunted by his own creation and has to lives in his own past. Many are not able to carry such a burden, while others, like Riggan Thomson (Michael Keaton), can live forever known as the beloved Birdman. But what will happen when even this man decides to change and to return to acting? Will people ever accept him as someone other than Birdman, who supposedly should have been left in the past? This question can only be answered by the viewer, who, after reading this review, must see ‘Birdman’, because there is no other way in existence to understand what this all is about.

It is indeed hard to furnish the right words to describe ‘Birdman’. Honestly, it’s really almost impossible. However, I will do my best to describe the story as accurately as possible in order to review this thoroughly fantastic film.

Riggan is a washed up actor. Though still admired by older audience, he is completely forgotten by a new generation. Still living in the past, fighting with his own ego and the voices in his head, he tries to recover his infamous career by opening a Broadway show, which he writes, directs and acts – all by himself. Meantime, Riggan also has personal issues. He tries to reconnect with his daughter (Emmy Stone), who plays her part unbelievably well.

Alejandro González Iñárritu, who has created such fantastic films as ‘Amores Perros’ (2000) and ‘Biutiful’ (2010), brings us another exotic story – critically acclaimed ‘Birdman’. ‘Birdman’ is a great example of team work, where the actors do an incredible job playing their parts and not one single star outshines the others. By the end of the film you are sure at least in one thing – ‘Whatever it was – I want to see it again!’ The beautiful soundtrack perfectly matches the characters’ mood – showing the dark atmosphere combined with the beautiful collage of color, sound and dense populous on Times Square. Another refreshing and memorable sight in the film was the view from the roof of the St. James Theater on Majestic.

Iñárritu’s ‘Birdman’ is complex and multilayered: it’s about an artist, who still dreams big, though he’s no longer known; it’s about a woman, who is about to achieve her dream of becoming a Broadway actress; and it’s about a young lady, who tries to reconnect with her father. Finally, ‘Birdman’ is about dark, but in the meantime, beautiful long term plans that may or may not come true. It is so well written, directed and acted that I can hardly find the proper words to describe just how terrific this film is. ‘Birdman’ has all the required ingredients to make a deliciously extravagant film with an incredible performance. Examples of the latter could be the scene where Lesley (Naomi Watts) talks and from being perfectly composed suddenly gets overly emotional and her eyes fill with tears; or the long dialogues between Keaton and Norton, which are done absolutely masterful.

In conclusion, ‘Birdman’ is one of those films that only come into our lives once in a while, and we have no excuse to miss this unique jewel of contemporary cinema. If you have not seen it yet, I strongly recommend not missing this opportunity and to get a ticket to your nearest movie theater to enjoy a piece, which is on its way to making modern film history and last, but not least, is one of the headlines for this year’s Oscar race with nine nominations.

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