Birdman Shows the Struggle of Leaving the Hollywood Spotlight
By Saad Kabir, Copy Editor
Birdman is a movie about trying to stay relevant in a world that no longer cares about you.
Michael Keaton plays former movie star Riggan Thomson who was widely known for his portrayal of Birdman franchises in the 1990s. Fast forward to 2014 and Thomson is no longer a movie star, his fifteen minutes in the limelight has faded away. Struggling to make ends meet, divorced, distant from his only child, and no longer adored by the masses, Thomson goes out to prove that he's not just a one trick pony but something far greater than that.
He takes up a Broadway play where he is directing, writing, and acting as the star of the shop based on the story of Raymond Carver called "What We Talk About When We Talk About Love". Thomson becomes upset because the actor who was supposed to play Nick makes a last minute replacement and is instead played by the critically acclaimed Mike Shiner, played in real life by Edward Norton. Everything seems to be going well until Shiner makes a scene during his first public rehearsal. Thomson is then hurled into a void of fear, doubt, questioning his own talent, and all in all questioning whether he should have even done this to begin with.
Throughout the movie, Michael Keaton puts on a stellar performance for which he was nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role. Keaton just doesn’t play a character but he is the character for Thomson represents Keaton and all the struggles that he’s been through. In real life, Keaton played Batman in the 1980s and then his career fizzled out and he faded into the background much like Thompson. Birdman's Keaton represents the dying Hollywood star and how many people who were in the limelight cannot let go of the past.
The supporting actors in the film were also terrific, as they all played their roles with such enthusiasm. You can really tell that they all went the extra mile to play their character and you can tell if you just by watching them perform. All of the actors in the movie, Emma Stone, Zach Galifianakis, Naomi Watts, put in superb efforts and you can tell that there was no holds barred just by looking at the cast. Emma Stone was nominated for Best Supporting Actress.
Although the casting and acting in the movie is great, the main reason why the movie was so good was because of it's exquisite story that was executed so beautifully. For example, Keaton plays his character so exquisitely because he can easily relate to the troubles of Thomson.
What makes this movie stand out from the rest is its ending. It does what many movies attempt and only a few succeed in. An ambiguous ending, one that makes you think days after the movie is over and that is the true mark of a good movie.
All in all Birdman is a fantastic film that I would rate a 9 out of 10. I would strongly recommend this to a friend because it’s definitely worth the watch and is worth every penny although i can’t say the same about the movie theater snacks.
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