“Birdman” flies high with amazing performances.
By Jasel Rico, Staff Writer
“Birdman” will have viewers soaring with very intense emotions, from feeling suspense to being scared of our own failures.
An aging actor, Riggan Thomson (Michael Keaton), tries to shed his previous mega-hit movie persona – “Birdman.” In the process of trying to stay relevant and produce a play on Broadway, he deals with his ego and how his cast interacts intensely with one another while trying to be pleased with how they see themselves on- and offstage.
This dark comedy gives a glimpse of the theater life and what goes on behind the curtains . Each cast member struggles to find acceptance in their performance, seeing how far their boundaries can be pushed while trying to stay sane. Their relationships offstage are taking a backseat. Riggan is dealing with daughter-daddy issues with Sam (Emma Stone) as she now has a job as his assistant, having just gotten out of rehab.
Riggan constantly argues with his Birdman persona, now becoming his conscience . And the more Riggan pushes it away, the harder the struggle of letting go of his most famous character gets. Trying to find the balance between it all is a struggle among his ego, his family, and himself.
Keaton delivers an outstanding performance that will be remembered, come Oscar season. His portrayal of this complex and confused character shows the effects of getting older in the business and wanting nothing more than to make something of his career. Edward Norton plays co-star Mike, who pushes the boundaries of Riggan’s acting and himself. Norton delivers an all-too-real performance on stage, adding depth to each of his scenes. Mike can’t make love to his co-star girlfriend (Naomi Watts) in life, but onstage tries to push her for a “real performance” in a sexual scene, humiliating her. Their lives are all missing the feeling of being secure with themselves and their loved ones, causing each to feel alone.
The movie is a beautiful disaster of wonder and hope. We root for Riggan to succeed in not only his play, but personal life as well. Deep rhythmic drums playing throughout the film enhance the intensity of each scene. Director and co-writer Alejandro González Iñárritu allows us to see a unique perspective behind the scenes of theater life.
Viewers are left wondering, if you stop focusing on your own ego, will people see you for who you really are?
WARNING: The video clip below contains adult language.
“Birdman” opens in theaters October 17
Rated R for language throughout, some sexual content and brief violence
5 Stars out of 5