Sunday, 18 January 2015

Birdman: My Thoughts

Is this a review? No. I don't write reviews (at the moment at least). This is just, more or less, my opinion. One that I hope you might find insightful and one that might help you in forming you own opinion of the movie and/or whether or not you would like to see it. 

So, today I found myself confronted with the vaguely disturbing yet oddly enthralling film: Birdman. Now I walked into that cinema with no expectations, due to only having glimpsed the trailer. I walked in without a clue of what the movie was actually about. Then, after 119 minutes of excessive swearing, confusing hallucinations, dizzying camera angles and what one might refer to as heightened realism, I walked out with a smile on my face. An odd smile, but a smile nonetheless. I laughed somewhat hysterically in remembrance of some unanticipated comedic aspects and when I arrived home I promptly began singing show tunes. Believe it or not, there was a reason for this.

I’m not going to go into details regarding the actual plot of the film lest anyone reading this wishes to see it, but I will say this. I laughed hysterically and sang show tunes with renewed vigour, because what I had just seen was a theatrical production. Essentially, a play on screen. I hadn’t expected it, nor did I realise it during. It was an epiphany that came to me five minutes after walking out and it hit me like a slap in the face.

I’m a drama student you understand, so I’m often exposed to theatrical productions. Plays are unconventional, and often the story they tell (if they tell one at all) doesn’t truly make sense until the very end. They’re confusing, they’re abstract, and they explore awkward topics that generally inspire discomfort among viewers. Often you walk out feeling slightly ill and bereft of comprehension. 

Personally, I usually turn to one of my friends and ask them what the hell did I just watch?

I never expected this to happen after seeing a film. But it did. Of course I didn’t recognise it immediately, but I received this cinematic composition in much the same way that I do dramatic productions. Also, much the same as I do when I witness a play, I reflected in the hour following. And, as I always have done, I found that I actually loved it.

It was a confronting film. It explored the concepts of: bad parenting, drug addiction, the hit-and-miss world that is the creative industry, mental health issues and suicidal tendencies. It was messy, gritty and in some ways it was simply confusing. It also featured heavily in black comedy and its ending was ambiguous to say the least.

But it worked. Weirdly enough, it worked. This messy composition built something that, quite frankly, was simply superb. It was odd and cringe worthy in some respects. But I unexpectedly loved it.

Expect to be confronted, but see it. I wish you luck and pray that you adore it as much I do.

Age range recommendation: 16+
Star rating:

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