Way back in the 90s, Riggan Thomson (Michael Keaton) rose to super stardom for portraying the comic book hero ‘Birdman’. Two decades later he is broke, separated from his wife Sylvia (Amy Ryan), detached from his teenage daughter Sam (Emma Stone), overshone by his star lead Mike Shiner (Edward Norton) and close to losing his sanity. He chooses to redeem his former glory and pursues to direct and star in a Broadway play based on the Raymond Carver story ‘What We Talk About When We Talk About Love’.
Although the film’s promotion suggests it to be a superhero adaptation, Birdman however is a deconstruction of complex emotions ultimately leading to the protagonist’s spiraling meltdown. This is where the film shines as its performances are splendid with each actor truly excellent in their respective roles. Edward Norton as a deeply involved method actor almost ruining the first audience preview of the play and Emma Stone’s fear inducing monologue to Keaton are the highlights of the film’s supporting cast. With his versatile talent, Keaton leads the high strung supporting ensemble in a role that can be considered his most powerful work till date.
Birdman is written and directed by Mexican Director Alejandro González Iñárritu (21 Grams and Babel). The film was shot in a technique that makes it look like one long continuous take. The camera follows its characters with ease around the stage as well as backstage and is a marvelous feat for cinematography as well as choreography. With awards season just around the corner, Birdman could be a sure-shot contender in leading categories.