Birdman Or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) – Movie Review

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Movie: Birdman Or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Cast: Michael Keaton, Emma Stone, Edward Norton, Zach Galifianakis
Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu
Produced by: Alejandro González Iñárritu
Music: Antonio Sanchez (drum score)
Language: English
Overall Stars: 5 out of 5

Riggan Thomson (Michael Keaton), former Hollywood superhero Birdman, has a shaky career. With a persistent hope to comeback as an artist, Riggan writes, directs and acts in a Broadway. The play is an adaptation of Raymond Carver‘s short story – ‘What We Talk About When We Talk About Love‘.

On the day of first preview show, one of his casts is hurt (intentionally plotted by Riggan because he finds him a terrible actor) and is replaced by Mike (Edward Norton). Riggan is impressed with Mike’s performance and refinances his house to get him on contract.

Riggan’s best friend Jake (Zach Galifianakis) produces the show and Riggan’s daughter Sam (Emma Stone) is a recovering addict and assists him.

Alejandro González Iñárritu takes us through his artistry and unravels a variety of perspectives throughout the movie.

For instance, one perspective is to depict what real love means to three generation of characters – Riggan, Mike and Sam.

Another perspective is to bring out the identity crisis Riggan goes through his stint with Broadway. His subconscious thoughts are represented as superhero character Birdman, which controls his thought processes and at certain instances, even his actions and decisions. This entire concept beautifully reflects how a human being (even a famous actor like Riggan) goes through insecurities and self doubts. We either succumb to our subconscious thoughts or soar like an eagle and raise above the sky.

Next perspective, an artist constantly questions the state of reality and fantasy. Iñárritu uses blue color to signal that something isn’t real, that he’s blending dream with reality. He almost spells it out by lighting the dream sequence in Riggan’s play in blue. At various sequences, blue is also the color used for Birdman’s costume (not the real one).

Innaritu also employs Sigmund Freud‘s psychoanalytic personality theory (Freud states that – The id, ego, and superego are the three parts of the human personality which combine to create the complex behavior of human beings) to attach deeper meaning to Riggan’s character. Various sequences bring aspects of this theory in the movie. For instance, Riggan’s ego is trashed when the critic states she will kill his play with a negative review.

There was another aspect that I left me awe-inspired. An artist becomes one, when they have the talent, know the technique of that art and pursues the same for the sake of art. But beyond that, an Artist becomes legendary when they persevere and put their soul into the art. Riggan improves gradually as an artist from first preview show to the last opening show. And Riggan constantly embellishes his character in the play with his personal learning and experiences.

Last and probably the mind blowing aspect of this movie is its end. It left me speechless and this clearly explains why Alejandro is easily, one of the most creative directors of our generation.

Due credit goes to cinematographer, editor and the jazz musicians, drummers from the sound department.

Bottomline: Birdman is one of the best movies I had watched in a very long time!

Week 5 – Something Someone Gave You

“Mental pain is less dramatic than physical pain, but it is more common and also more hard to bear. The frequent attempt to conceal mental pain increases the burden: it is easier to say “My tooth is aching” than to say “My heart is broken.”
― C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain

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Seldom we discuss about the pain brought by others in life – intentionally or unknowingly. This week’s gratitude is to all of them who crossed my life and caused pain in some form or the other.

Grateful to all of you because – I am a stronger person today. If not for you people in my life, I wouldn’t know the value of happiness. I wouldn’t have learnt to forgive and move on. I wouldn’t smile, even if I feel like crying at moments. I wouldn’t know to celebrate real people and accept things as they are.

Thank you. For making me stronger.

Week 4 – Family Member

he held my hands gently,

took me into his arms,

gave me a hug that was assuring,

and planted a kiss on my forehead.

he knew i was shrinking.

deep within, he was equally pained.

but, beyond his pain,

he gave me strength.

my smile was all that mattered.

so, he whispered into my ears.

“i shall always be your hero,

and never let you down”

with love,

your dad.

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Week 3 – Family

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December 22, 1989, I was born and was blessed with a family. A family that has been my everything since then.

A family that’s given me life, an identity, taught me values, morals, been there through my ups and downs, always been my cheer leader and is completely proud of me no matter what.

My family usually comprises of appa and amma. They started their lives in a humble manner. They became my best friends – over a period of time. And, they have, till date given me everything that they could possibly give. I admit, I have given them the toughest of times, yet they only love me. I am incredibly blessed to have them as my parents and words shall not suffice to express what they mean to me.

There is an extension to this family. It includes my maternal grandparents and my aunt – who raised me when I was a kid and narrated their life’s experiences while my parents were busy at work. Thatha, patti and chitti – you all have enriched my life.

And, as of today, these people endlessly worry about me – only because they love and care for me. Unconditional love and happiness I have.

Thank you, my family <3

she.

2Image courtesy: https://unsplash.com

she had a soul.

that needed another soul.

another soul,

that could see her flaws, yet found her beautiful.

that knew she had crumbled in the past, yet saw strength in her.

that knew all her weakness and didn’t judge her.

that wanted to make her smile no matter what and be her best in everything.

that was equally broken and beautiful.

that could see life only with her.

that one soul, she awaited for.

to whom,

she could completely give herself and

be her.

Week 2 – Significant Other

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I am skewing this week’s topic as per my convenience. [Reason: I am single/unmarried]

My significant other at this point in time is music. I have not experienced anything in this world as pure, honest and powerful as music. Music simply reflects my state of mind. In most scenarios, it’s only made my everyday better and probably the sole reason, I look forward to many such beautiful days. It’s the reason I exist. I co-exist.

For bringing music into my life, I definitely need to thank my parents, especially my amma for encouraging me to pursue music ever since I was a toddler.

I would extend my gratitude to all my gurus who have tirelessly and endlessly made me the person I am today – for making me a human being – who also has the ability to express through music.

The gratitude list definitely is incomplete without mentioning the endless inspiration and beautiful artistes who I continue to  listen to and appreciate different forms of music.

And, to my friends and well-wishers who have influenced me to take my own music more seriously in this coming year.

Week 1 – Why start this challenge?

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Last year, around this time, I gave into #100happydays challenge. It helped me become better as a person – is something I would like to believe.

While, I still count on my blessings and stay thankful for all the good things that life has bestowed on me, I would like to take this specific challenge – only because, it will give me a platform to express gratitude to specifics as provided in the list.