Review: Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (2014)


I have a tendency to check user reviews on IMDb before watching a film. I was surprised to see how divided people were for Birdman. Most of the reviews gave the filmĀ either 9-10 stars or 1 star. This made me want to watch the film even more and by the time I finished watching it, my faith in people had decreased by a little bit.

Birdman is brilliant and this is not just an opinion. I’m not saying that because I liked it too much (although I did), I didn’t even give it 10 stars. When I say it is brilliant, I mean that every aspect of the film is masterfully dealt with. Sublime acting, excellent cinematography, interesting and unconventional directing and a wonderfully original score. OK there wasn’t a fast-paced plot with lots of plot twists, but not every movie has to be like this. I was very surprised when I realized that one of the reviewers who gave the film a one-star rating, complained about the plot and suggested to the readers to go watch a Kubrick film instead. Well, Kubrick himself made movies with minimal plot which were nevertheless proved to be masterpieces (2001: A space Odyssey, Eyes Wide Shut). He once said: “A film is (or should be) more like music than fiction”. Films are supposed to make us think and feel, like music does. You can make a good song by adding story-like lyrics and you can make a good song by adding no lyrics at all. The same applies to movies. There are plot-driven masterpieces and there are not-plot-driven masterpieces. Birdman is one of the latter.

I don’t want to spoil the film. I just want to say that I would highly recommend it for anyone, except people who only want to see pointless action and superhero films. Birdman will make you think, reflect on similar situations you might have experienced and discover the other side of actors and films.

By no means is it a film for everyone. I can absolutely understand people not liking it. There is not a single film that appeals to everyone. What I cannot understand though is people calling it a bad movie. I really feel that it deserved all the oscars it won.