Birdman is a 2014 comedy-drama film directed by Alejandro G. Iñárritu. It stars Michael Keaton, Emma Stone, Edward Norton, and Zach Galifianakis, among others. The film was widely acclaimed and won four Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Cinematography. In this post, we take a closer look at the film, its plot, characters, performances, and technical aspects, as well as its availability on popular streaming platforms and rental and purchase options.
Birdman tells the story of Riggan Thompson, a fading Hollywood actor known for playing the titular character in the successful superhero film franchise Birdman. Riggan hopes to revive his career and gain critical acclaim by directing and starring in a Broadway play based on the Raymond Carver short story ‘What We Talk About When We Talk About Love.’ However, he faces numerous challenges, including a troubled relationship with his daughter, a difficult leading actor, and a constant voice in his head reminding him of his past success as Birdman.
Birdman is a darkly comic exploration of fame, ego, and art, shot in a unique and technically dazzling style that creates the impression of a continuous single take.
Birdman is a must-watch film for anyone interested in the intersection of Hollywood entertainment and high-art cinema. It offers a scathing commentary on celebrity culture and the creative process while also delivering a hilarious and engaging story packed with top-notch performances from a talented ensemble cast.
The cast of Birdman includes:
- Michael Keaton as Riggan Thompson / Birdman
- Zach Galifianakis as Jake, Riggan’s friend and producer
- Edward Norton as Mike Shiner, a talented but difficult actor
- Emma Stone as Sam, Riggan’s daughter who is fresh out of rehab
- Naomi Watts as Lesley, an actress in the play
- Andrea Riseborough as Laura, Riggan’s girlfriend and co-star
Birdman opens with Riggan Thompson in his dressing room, levitating above the ground and discussing his plan to make a comeback with the Broadway play he has written, directed, and is starring in. He tells his lawyer, Jake, that he needs to replace another actor, a drunk who fell and injured his face during rehearsal. Riggan is warned by his producer that he needs to get an insurance policy in case something goes wrong during the play, but Riggan refuses to do so, claiming that he wants to live dangerously and prove his worth.
As rehearsals continue, Riggan struggles to connect with his co-star and ex-girlfriend Laura, who resents Riggan for his obsession with the play and his indifference towards her. Meanwhile, Mike Shiner is introduced as a respected Broadway actor who is expected to save the play. However, tensions arise between him and Riggan when Mike’s method acting leads him to question the script and challenge Riggan’s authority. Riggan’s relationship with his daughter Sam also becomes strained when he snaps at her for using her phone during dinner.
The play finally opens, and things start to fall apart as Riggan struggles to keep the show afloat. He gets into a physical altercation with Mike backstage, fails to perform a crucial scene that involves a prop gun, and has a meltdown in his dressing room when the play receives a bad review. In a moment of desperation, Riggan attempts suicide on stage but survives and wakes up in a hospital with his daughter by his side. The film ends with Sam discovering that Riggan has jumped out of the window and flown away, leaving her with a smile on her face.
The plot of Birdman revolves around Riggan Thompson, an aging actor whose claim to fame is a series of superhero movies he did decades ago. Riggan wants to regain his artistic relevance by writing, directing, and starring in a Broadway play based on the work of Raymond Carver. He faces numerous obstacles, including a troubled relationship with his daughter, Sam, who is fresh out of rehab, and a difficult leading actor, Mike Shiner, who challenges Riggan’s vision for the play.
As the rehearsals proceed, Riggan starts to lose control over the production and himself. He begins hearing the voice of Birdman in his head, taunting him and promising him a return to fame and glory. Meanwhile, he struggles with his relationship with Laura, who resents Riggan for his neglect and lack of commitment. Things come to a head when Riggan attempts suicide on stage during a performance, only to survive and find a new lease on life.
Birdman is a stunning achievement, a film that manages to be both a hilarious satire of Hollywood and a moving exploration of the human condition. The performances are all fantastic, with Keaton delivering a career-best turn as Riggan Thompson. The writing is sharp and witty, with Iñárritu and his co-writers managing to convey complex ideas through sly jokes and subtle visual cues. The technical aspects of the film are also awe-inspiring, with the continuous take style immersing the audience in the story and amplifying the emotional impact of the film’s climactic moments.
Characters & Performance
Birdman features a talented ensemble cast, with each actor delivering a memorable performance. Keaton’s Riggan is a tragic but compelling figure, a man struggling to find his place in a world that has moved on without him. Galifianakis is surprisingly effective as Jake, Riggan’s friend and producer, delivering some of the film’s funniest lines with sharp timing. Norton brings gravitas and intensity to the role of Mike, a method actor who challenges Riggan’s vision for the play. Stone’s Sam is a revelation, a character who grows in confidence and maturity over the course of the film.
Birdman uses a number of visual effects to create its distinctive look and feel. The continuous take style creates the illusion of a seamless and uninterrupted story, drawing the audience deeper into Riggan’s world. The use of digital compositing and other post-production techniques also help to create surreal and dreamlike sequences that further accentuate the film’s themes of fantasy and reality.
The soundtrack for Birdman is a mix of original music by composer Antonio Sánchez and classic jazz standards by artists like Duke Ellington and Charlie Parker. The music is used to great effect, underscoring the emotional beats of the film and accentuating its themes of artistic ambition and existential angst.
The cinematography for Birdman is simply stunning, with the camera following the characters around the theater in a series of long takes that create a sense of immediacy and intimacy. The use of natural lighting and handheld cameras gives the film a raw and spontaneous feel, further emphasizing its themes of artistic risk-taking and creative exploration.
Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s direction of Birdman is masterful, seamlessly blending elements of comedy, drama, and magical realism to create a wholly unique and unforgettable cinematic experience. He manages to balance the film’s lighter moments with its darker and more introspective ones, creating a film that is both entertaining and thought-provoking.
Popular Streaming Platforms
Birdman is available on a number of popular streaming platforms, including:
- Amazon Prime Video
If you have a subscription to any of these services, simply search for Birdman and start streaming. If you don’t have a subscription, you can sign up for a free trial or rent or purchase the film on one of several digital platforms.
Rental and Purchase Options
Birdman is available to rent or purchase on the following digital platforms:
- Amazon Prime Video
- Google Play Movies & TV
Pricing and Available Formats
The rental and purchase prices for Birdman vary depending on the service and format you choose. The film is available in both standard definition and high definition and can be rented or purchased for as little as $2.99 and $9.99, respectively.
Free Streaming Options
There are several websites that offer free streaming of Birdman, but it is important to note that these sites may be illegal or involve piracy. We do not recommend using these sites, as they may contain viruses and malware that could harm your computer.
Torrenting and Piracy Warning
Downloading and sharing copyrighted material without permission is illegal and can result in severe consequences, including fines and jail time. We urge our readers to avoid torrenting or sharing pirated content and to support the creators by paying for their work through legal channels.
VPNs for Geo-Restrictions
Many streaming platforms and digital stores are geo-restricted, meaning that their content is only available in certain regions. A VPN (Virtual Private Network) can help you bypass these restrictions and access content from around the world. However, it is important to use VPNs responsibly and only for legal purposes.
If you enjoyed Birdman, you may also like:
- The Revenant
- La La Land
- The Grand Budapest Hotel
Each of these films offers a unique perspective on art and creativity and features stunning performances and technical achievements.