Monday, 19 January 2015

Birdman- An Oscar's Film Review Special (contains spoilers)

The Lazy Girl doesn't often get a chance to catch the latest film releases, but this time, she got to see Birdman, starring Michael Keaton and Emma Stone amongst others. The film is Oscar nominated, so she expected a great watch. What were her thoughts? Read on.....

I want to start by saying Elder had driven me mad about this film after seeing the trailer. Its funny he promised, it looks like a great watch. So off we went to see it.

The first thing I thought on seeing the start was it didn't really need two titles, and to be fair, I was concerned it may be a bit arty (or pretentious) for my taste. Its not just called Birdman you see, oh no, it has the "alternative title" of "Or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance".

Why? No idea, and as was to become painfully clear throughout the film, not much else made sense either.

Michael Keaton is far from being an actor I would think of when looking for an actor to take on a deep and meaningful role. After all, most folk remember him as possibly the worst Batman of all time.

However, you would think being typecast as a washed up actor, a previous Super hero (the aforementioned Birdman of the title) now in a Broadway play he is funding himself, would be a doddle for him to play. After all, he is basically playing himself here.

But no, shockingly no. I think we are meant to root for him over the brash character played by Ed Norton, and feel for him and his clear mental illness as he descends further into a fantasy world were he has retained his Birdman "powers".

The character was just so damned unlikeable due to the appalling acting of Keaton that I could not wait for the- what you think is- inevitable suicide death ending. I just hoped he took Ed Norton's character with him. Yes reader, I wanted the character to shoot himself. It was that bad.

It was just shocking that actors who I previously have thought were great and who could've saved this vanity project, pseudo intelligent piece of pap were in such crass, play by numbers roles- Emma Stone in a teen angst, recently in rehab daughter role who was always going to end up snogging Ed Norton, who himself was just so sneering in his role that I wanted to scream with the annoyance of it. Again, Zach Galifanikis is usually so good, providing sharp, intelligent comedy, but here he was in the obvious "tearing hair out as friend to Keaton's Riggan character" and largely ineffective and wasted. As was Naomi Watts who I had high hopes for but who just ended up a simpering non-entity who you failed to see the point of bar to snog Riggan's cast aside female lover, for no reason whatsoever.

So many little bits of story started and then went no further, with no explanation whatsoever and made you wonder why you, much least the writer, producer and director, bothered.

By the end, I just wanted it to be over. Even Elder, who kept suggesting for the first hour at least that the film hadn't quite kicked in yet and may do soon, gave up and agreed it was just shockingly poor.

The whole film dragged on, and I still am none the wiser as to what the directors and writers hoped to achieve. Perhaps they wanted to bring Keaton back? I just hope he never darkens cinema again.

The thing is, I get dark comedy, I can follow and keep up with a changing storyline (I love, utterly adore Tarrantino who does the type of slick, dark comedy that this so could've been with his help and a different lead). Birdman is none of these things. Its just film for films sake, nothing else.

I can quite honestly liken it to The Man Who Fell to Earth in the fact you leave the cinema none the wiser as to what you have just witnessed, except at least Bowie was in that, and being a 70's art film, at least they had the excuse of being no doubt monumentally high on drugs, as should anyone have been who hoped to follow it. Birdman has none of these redeeming features or excuses.

How on earth it is nominated in several categories in the Oscars amongst other awards nights is beyond my comprehension.

It is quite simply the most boring, pointless, unlikeable piece of pap I have ever wasted two hours of my life to watch.

The one redeeming feature was that there is a great drummer in it. That is it. But even that becomes annoying in the end.

I felt by the end that perhaps the secondary title was appropriate in the sense you are better off ignorant of the film. Perhaps that's what they hoped to achieve- a bet that they could hype a film so bad and make it award winning when we unexpectedly should exercise our virtue of ignorance over it.

I beg of you, do not be taken in by the hype, save your cash and watch something else, anything else, even High School Musical over this film.

You have been warned.

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