Birdman is a fast-paced technically accomplished satire, but it’s also as shallow as its protagonist.
An actor (Michael Keaton)—famous for portraying an iconic superhero—struggles to mount a Broadway play. In the days leading up to opening night, he battles his ego and attempts to recover his family, his career, and himself.
Birdman is an entertaining parable of ambition and fame that drips with satire at every frame.
Technically, the film is a tour de force and plenty of other critics have already said it.
The brisk yet well executed plot is an engaging mix of reality and flights of fancy. The improvised Jazz drumming could electrify a scene with a couple of beats. The dynamic cinematography with its tracking shots that bring you into this claustrophobic worn down world of Riggan’s desperate attempt at self-redemption. The well casted cast fit their characters to a T.
All the actors turn in a fitting theatrical performance. Micheal Keaton surprises us again after being the best Batman. Emma Stone and Zach Galifianakis plays against their niche and pulls it off convincingly. Edward Norton plays a douchebag very well ( I wonder why that is). Naomi Watts reminds us of Mulholland Drive and that she deserves more gigs.
At the same time, that is all there is to it. Birdman is no more than a technical exercise filled with stale ideas about the Hollywood machinery. Its a beautifully made movie built around a barely there story covered up by a string of stylistic sequences that doesn’t tell us anything new or something profound to say, even though its made to look that way.
Nonetheless, Birdman is still an engaging piece that is watchable in the cinema and could satisfy mainstream viewers. It’s a different turn for Alejandro González Iñárritu whose work are typically adults doing awful stuff. But while his previous works packs an emotional and visceral punch, Birdman is a shallow and self-absorbed yet fun film.
My Rating: 8/10