Director – Alejandro G. Iñárritu
A fast paced, dark, unpredictable, funny and heartfelt film that demands watching
Birdman follows Riggan (Keaton) as he tries to redefine his acting career after being washed up since playing the super hero Birdman in a trilogy of films.
Now, in an attempt to reinvent himself as a serious actor, Riggan writes, directs and acts in a Broadway play.
The film is fast paced and rarely slows down as we move from one scene to the next almost instantly. This is aided by the camera work of Emmanuel Lubezki, as he shot the film appears as one continuous shot (through clever editing and photography direction). The film has brilliant immersion; you truly experience being backstage within the craziness of a stage production.
The excellent score for the film also compliments the film greatly, as it’s comprised entirely of drums it adds rhythm and pacing to the scenes without overpowering the dialogue in the slightest.
All of the actors in Birdman deliver truly great performances without any one falling short. Keaton in particular shines as Riggan; his character is unpredictable through his dedication, if not desperation, to make the play successful.
At first, Birdman may seem unfitting to director Iñárritu, as it appears out of place with his previous filmography; such as 21 grams (2003) Babel (2006) and Biutiful (2010). However whilst watching Birdman it becomes immediately apparent that Riggan’s issues and lifestyle are right up Iñárritu’s alley. The tone of this film suits Iñárritu’s film catalogue, despite being presented in a less serious, more comedic way.
Some viewers may have issues with the script being left open to interpretation. However, if you enjoy a film that can blur the lines between reality and fantasy with a thoughtful, interesting plot I cannot recommend this film enough.