When Birdman was released in October, most movie-goers praised it so highly but yet I was not interested to see it. But since the awards season is upon us, I decided to give Alejandro González Iñárritu‘s movie a try. Beforehand, I happen to actually catch the trailer of Birdman, which is suffice to say is misleading in a good way. In the trailer, Michael Keaton’s character Riggan was seen in an action climax scene with explosions and high-rise buildings – homage to the rise of superhero movies, probably. However, Birdman itself is a different film since it focuses on the man behind the superhero mask.
Riggan is a washed up actor who is trying to revive his career by directing a Carver’s play. The movie is shot in a close-up while continue moving from one room to the other, as if we are following the characters from behind. When the movie starts Riggan is in need of a male lead for the show, and he got one in the form of Mike, a self-absorbed methodical actor. Little did he know that Mike is not the miracle he was hoping for. Moreover, Riggan’s daughter, Sam, also creates additional tension in his life.
Birdman is set in a very claustrophobic setting, since it takes place only in one location: the theater building. The film’s flow is also enhanced with its unique background score by Antonio Sanchez. Michael Keaton himself gives his best performance till date as Riggan who is funny yet melodramatic most of the time. Emma Stone’s character is essential to the movie but not necessarily the best thing. Edward Norton, however, played a pompous, entitled actor with perfection. The movie ends on a quirky note, proving once again that a film should not be boxed-in specific genres (in this case a comedy or drama), where else it should be set free and received as raw and peculiar as Birdman effortlessly did.