Movies: Birdman

Birdman saves the day


C.C. Lucas, Creative Director

Riggan Thomson is a washed-up actor who has lost his wings. Determined to get back the former glory of his film persona, superhero Birdman, Thomson uses the Broadway stage to make a second debut. The film follows a group of struggling artists in their pursuit to put on a successful show.

     While the show suffers to take off, the movie finds glory in its poetic portrayal of crisis. The camera work in particular pulls the story off the screen. The camera always hovers close to each actor’s face, making the scenes feel excitingly close.

     Though no character’s story is shown thoroughly, what viewers discover about each character ties back to Thomson and his internal problem.

     To further blur the line of reality, viewers experience Thomson’s day-to-day delusion, where he spars with Birdman and jumps from buildings only to soar over New York City.

     At the end, the movie bombs viewers with a pressing and probably unanswerable question. Left to interpret a crucial conclusion, the viewers apply their own pessimism or optimism to the story.

     Director Alejandro G. Iñárritu gives each viewer wings and the air to explore whether Thomson failed or flew.