Film Review: Birdman

Directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu, Birdman follows a washed-up actor, Riggan (Michael Keaton), who once played an iconic superhero. Now, as he mounts a Broadway play, led by stars Lesley (Naomi Watts) and Mike (Edward Norton), in a bid to reclaim his past glory, he must overcome his ego and family troubles and get back on track with his life and career and fix the bond with his daughter Sam (Emma Stone).

Birdman is a hard film for me to review. There was so much hype around how incredible and clever that it was that I thought I HAD to see it. So I did, but I felt slightly underwhelmed after doing so. It’s this hype that I blame though, as there were parts of the film that I loved. I just didn’t connect to it as well as I though I should have.

The real highlight of Birdman is the style of filming, as the camera moves around the stage and swerves around corridors. This technical achievement is fantastic, adding so much to the story and its characters. The performances are also excellent, too, with brilliant roles from Keaton, Stone, and Norton, especially. They’re a great cast together and just like they would in a live play, such as the one they are filming, they bounce off each other incredibly.

What the film lacked, I feel, was some engagement. Obviously I didn’t get the dark comedy throughout, because so many others would disagree. Although I did laugh a lot, I just didn’t care as much as I wanted to. I’ve just been left with the feeling that “I didn’t get it”, not feeling the same love for it that everybody else seems to have.

Saying that, I have a feeling that this is a film that I will enjoy much more on a second viewing, but for now all I can say is that this wasn’t for me. Let’s hope this will change.

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