Review title

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Birdman (Or The Unexpected Virtue Of Ignorance) (2014)

So, I was excited to watch this film for my university screening last week. With the awards it has won and the fact that everyone seemed to be raving about it, I thought it would be excellent and worth the watch.

Now, I’m not saying that it was awful, the special effects and use of the virtual camera in around 90% of the film is definitely something to be credited for. The acting also was notably good, with the use of stars such as Michael Keaton, Naomi Watts, Ed Norton, Zach Galifianakis and Emma Stone lending their hands to roles which I believe (minus Norton who played a similar character in the renowned Fight Club) strongly differed to what I’m use to seeing them in. To be fair, I have only really seen Keaton as Jack Frost, so I guess that wouldn’t be a shock.

Right, so the plot. Slightly confusing and yet edgy, the plot revolved around washed-up movie star Riggan Thompson (Keaton) attempting to perform in and direct a Broadway play. But, I guess what makes this interesting is that throughout Thompson experiences a voice in his head of the action hero Birdman (previously played by himself when he was a successful movie star) and visions of him in full costume. Thompson also believes that he has powers, such as the power of flight and telekinesis, which makes the audience question are they real? Or along with the visions simply a figment of his imagination?.

I guess what I didn’t necessarily like about this film (many of you will probably disagree) is that I felt it lacked in substance. Although I enjoyed parts of it, I just didn’t really think it had enough going on throughout to keep me glued to the screen. The use of the loud drums in the majority of the scenes I also found distracting, although did successfully portray the temper of the characters increasing in scenes with heightened emotions.

So, a little bit more about the Visual effects. As mentioned above, I believe that this is definitely a plus point of this film, as I believed the scenes of Riggan flying and the image of Birdman were well constructed and looked realistic.

Overall, this film was certainly quirky, leaving the audience with an ending that involved a confusing plot twist. Although some scenes were indeed comical (e.g when Riggan gets locked out of the theatre and needs to walk around Times Square in order to use a different entrance), I personally do not see what all the hype was about.

I know that this is a very renowned film, earning itself 4 Oscars in the process, so therefore also want to mention that although I personally did not like it, people who enjoy edgy/quirky/hyper-realistic/artsy films probably will.

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— AW