Birdman has a lot of stuff going on, that’s for sure. Some things I got, others I didn’t. But regardless its clear that everything that is in this manic movie mayhem is there for a reason. For example, I don’t know why he imagines himself having telekinetic powers, but I’m sure there’s a reason (a statement on hi ego seems obvious, but there must be something else to it as well). There’s lots that is commented on here, like the nature of criticism and art vs. commercialism in theater, but what the comment is isn’t as easy to pick out. Maybe there is no straight comment and these ideas are just thrown out as food for thought.
Regardless of the themes behind the film, the technical stuff is pretty energetic as well. The acting is top notch, especially the scene where Keaton and Norton have their first rehearsal. Its gotta be tough to act acting, if you know what I mean. Keaton goes through a lot of ranges in this movie and is convincing throughout. Norton is also quite excellent, as is Emma Stone as Keaton’s daughter who is a character in her own right.
The cinematography and editing meld together in this film to make what appears to be one long, continuous shot that covers a series of days in the theater. The way it is done is pretty ingenious in that many locations are actually used, both interior and exterior so that the audience doesn’t feel stifled. Although for myself, I felt a little exhausted going through the whole movie without a ‘break” as it were, and you realize the power that editing out a second or two can actually have. Not everyone will feel the same restlessness I’m sure, but I did for some reason.
Its hard to say how Birdman is going to hold up over the coming years. It may increase in value as there are more and more tidbits of theme to grab and piece together within the bustling scenes. Or its pretentiousness may shine through more on repeat viewings. Its probably going to be the former. As far as the ending goes, not sure how smoothly it went. But again, maybe I’m missing something and not putting the proper metaphor’s in place even though I recognize them (the flying, the mask, etc.).