Review: Birdman (2014)

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/924/13942284/files/2015/01/img_0106-1.jpg Twenty five years after starring as the titular caped crusader in Batman, Michael Keaton takes on the role of another superhero, this time in Alejandro González Iñárritu’s thrilling and ambitious Birdman. Put out actor Riggan Thomson (Keaton) attempts to reinvigorate his stalled career by staging a Broadway play. His efforts are hindered, however, by one complication after another and his increasingly cloudy state of mind. Birdman represents a shift in direction for Inarritu – one that works out immensely well. The way in which the film is presented as one continuous shot is superb; innumerable tricks pulled off right, left and centre to make it look as seamless as it does. The narrative, too, is clever, providing a biting commentary on the state of Hollywood, while never failing in its efforts to entertain and stimulate. Keaton is terrific as Riggan, his understanding of the characters’ desperation to be both accepted and adulated adding an extra dimension not only to the performance, but to the film itself. Emma Stone, Edward Norton and the entire ensemble provide excellent support, ensuring that Birdman is a one of a kind feast, brandishing as much verve as it does virtuosity and dark humour.

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