Saturday, November 15, 2014

Movie Review - Birdman: or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

I was an English major in college and if there is one thing an English major can do it is recognize symbolism and literation. Stay with me here. Often when we read a book or see a film it is the back story, the symbolism, the underlying meaning that is the true story. All that said, Birdman: or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) was just noise to me. 

The plot (as IMDB describes it) is "A washed-up actor who once played an iconic superhero must overcome his ego and family trouble as he mounts a Broadway play in a bid to reclaim his past glory." The washed up actor, Riggan, played by Michael Keaton, seems to be possessed with (or actually more aptly by) some super natural powers. Emma Stone is almost unrecognizable in her role as Riggan's daughter, Sam. Other cast members include Naomi Watts, Zach Galifianakis, Jeremy Shamos, and Edward Norton which makes this all the more frustrating.

I found the first 35 minutes of the film just poor dialogue among a group of cast members trying to put on a Broadway play. It was frantic and dramatic - symbolizing nothing (to misquote Macbeth). And the genre of the movie is "comedy"? I missed the humor. I missed the plot. I never knew who the characters were because they were never introduced. It was if I had missed the first several key scenes or I was watching the second of a three part series without having had seen the first one. There were enough vague references, snarky comments, and loud exchanges to clue me in that there was some past history among the characters. 

The young man selling popcorn said it was the best movie he had seen this year. That led me to one of two conclusions: either he had only seen one movie or he and I are on opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to movies.

Bottom line - the movie sucks. Two regrets: that I wasted my time seeing it and that I wasted your time with the review of this worthless film.

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