I want to start off by saying I fux with this movie. This movie is my shit for really reals! This is not your stereotypical hero movie at all. The approach is much more visceral and complex as it deals with those behind the mask in the “real” world. However we can start at the beginning. This movie is focuses Michael Keaton as Riggan Thompson. Riggan was a movie star most popular for portraying “Birdman”.
Riggan has been best known for his portrayal of Birdman for years. He called it quits after the third movie. He has now fallen off the Hollywood A-list and is doing an adaptation play he stars in order to prove his worth to the world while stating that he is still relevant. All the while the he hears the voice of Birdman in the back of his head mocking his every move, how far he has fallen, wanting him to go back to do a 4th Birdman movie because it’s what the audience really wants instead of this “Artsy yuppie” shit Riggan is dead set to prove he can produce. He has a lot of money and reputation riding on this broadway move as well. Riggan also displays some telekinetic abilities throughout the movie that he uses in various small situations. However, the viewer isn’t aware if this is real or all in his head. This comes into play in the movie continuously in greater ways.
Riggan scores a break in getting the best broadway actor in the game, Mike Shiner, (Edward Norton) when his original (horrible) lead actor has an accident. Shiner is a god send that is amazing on stage but a giant dick in real life. He is that arrogant prick with natural talent on stage but is an ass to everyone either because he can be or because it’s a front. Shiner is definitely hard to love because once you warm up to him, he pulls some major fuxboy move that leaves you yelling at the screen, “Come on man”. Shiner also has some of the THEE BEST lines of dialogue throughout the movie.
Riggan’s trying to prove to himself that he matters has cost him be it through his first marriage, his current relationship, his career and his daughter Sam (Emma Stone) who is fresh out of rehab. A lot of good interactions and revelations happen with Sam. Stone puts it the fuck down for her character. Sam shows that she may be the one out of rehab but she has a better grasp on the world and the ways of entertainment than her own father.
This movie does not go the way you expect it to which is the best part. Again, this isn’t so much about superheroes as opposed to the artists that bring them to life when they put on the mask. Then what they deal with once the demand stops or they try to identify themselves in other roles. This works especially well knowing that Michael Keaton was the original Batman back in 1989 in real life. The way Riggan comments on trying to get actors for his play like Robert Downey Jr or Jeremy Renner then finding out they are doing hero movies (Iron Man, Avengers), he comments, “They let anyone be a cape now”. His angst / annoyance / frustration over this is an extra layer that sells the movie so well, while keeping the dialogue entertaining as Keaton / Riggan was one of the original (in real life) capes giving him the clout to make such judgements.
This is a movie that (as a friend commented) is a “fast slow paced movie” which is the perfect description. I think its enjoyable for an everyday patron that has no knowledge of superheroes. However, if you happen to be an artist (musician, writer, performer, etc) you are going to draw so much more from this film. Riggan is constantly being nagged by his own ego to do prove that he can create and give the world pure high art acting, writing, and a great theater experience versus his pride telling him, “Fuck what these upper class privileged folk want. Let’s go back to the big movie budget, explosions, and entertainment that those “nerd-boys”/ teens want from us”. The approach for this movie is very unique (in my opinion) and is much needed for the comic-book movie genre.
Don’t even get me started on the cinematography and shots through out this film either. The director Alejandro González Iñárritu straight out did himself with this movie. I’m not even going to download this when it comes out I’m straight buying the DVD of this shit right here. That’s how you know its real!