Rarely in the modern age of cinema do you get the chance to witness uniquely in a film that when you do the experience tends to be appreciated and never understated. This is the case for Birdman, the first release from Mexican director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu in four years. Not only does it innovation set the stage for what is an unrivalled experience, but it’s the enthusiasm Inarritu generates in Birdman that sets it apart from much of last year’s releases.
Birdman’s presentation here, more than anything in the whole movie, portrays this ambitious enthusiasm as Inarritu’s work is illustrated through the use of the one-take technique. That’s all it is really and there’s a lot of fun to be hard trying to work out when the cuts take place, but apart from that and the potential symbolism of there being no escape for the viewer from this world the structure holds no overwhelming purpose in forwarding the narrative.
The narrative itself has measurable purpose, though, and Inarritu’s dialogue is consistently productive in driving home themes such as the protagonist’s relevance in a world devoid of stability, and Michael Keaton in this role is astounding. He gives everything to the character, displaying the physical pain whilst also helping to establish a psychological negativity within that cements Birdman as the work it is. Edward Norton and Emma Stone also assist with great work to complete Inarritu’s film as one of the most absorbing, ingenious and frequently enchanting films in many years.