Friday, January 30, 2015

Movie Review: Birdman


It’s me. Birdman.

How did you end up here.

This place is horrible. Smells like malls.

The cheap, pseudo sanitized, plasticky nature of the thrills. The crummy, emotionless texture of the narrative. The dead eyed one-note characters. The over the top acting and visuals.

This is not entertainment. This is robbery. And snuff. And you pay for it every single week, week after week. You champion commercial blockbuster cinema. You’re the problem.

Fuelling a kind of cinema that caters to the lowest common denominator. You should be ashamed of yourself.

Lying on your sofa-facing TV, with a tub of poisonous snacks, feeding your ugly shapeless potbellied body more calories than the budget of these films. Feeding your vacant mind with flashy images of robots fighting each other or Adam Sandler cracking dick jokes with his friends.

You’re pathetic.

Every two months a great indie or an arthouse movie shows up, and you get a chance to redeem yourself. But you never do. You don’t even know what indie means. You wouldn’t know arthouse if it squeezed you by the unmentionables and screamed its name to your face.

You don’t watch a movie unless it’s got a big star or a popular auto tuned item song with a skimpily clothed actress gyrating lasciviously for you. You don’t watch a movie unless it harks back to the 80’s, where women are treated like objects and the men dance like unwashed coked up monkeys. You don’t watch a movie unless it’s got a superhero in a drag costume blowing up buildings in a suburb after spending two hours whining about his daddy issues. The louder the explosion, the bigger the girth of your crotch. The younger the heroine, the bigger the Michael Bay box office.

You’re an embarrassment to humanity. You’re a scourge to cinema. 

Face it. You don’t watch challenging films because you’re afraid. You’re scared to death that your tiny little brain, already fried by the years of blockbuster meals, won’t process anything that’s not made for toddlers. You’re as stupid as the movies you watch. The movies are as stupid as you. You and movies are the couple from Gone Girl. You deserve each other. Even bums know the difference between caviar and a happy meal, but you wouldn’t. Your taste buds reject anything that isn’t made of cheese.

You know I’m right.

You only love blood. Or action. Not talky, depressing, philosophical bullshit.

And your sheer lack of effort to challenge yourself as a person kills the real talent.

Listen to me. You were once not stupid.

You did watch that Kieslowski movie on TV during that afternoon and you kind of liked it. You dug the offbeat style of the narrative. You relished the character in that film. When was the last time you saw a movie for the characters. You only watch movies because they’re just extended versions of trailers on YouTube. The three minute trailers that give away every damn thing in the movie except for the end credits. 

You’ve got a chance to do something right. You’ve got to take it. You can go back one more time and show me what you’re capable of.

Birdman is in theaters this Friday. It’s got Michael Keaton in one of the most memorable cinematic performances of all time. It’s got Edward Norton playing himself. It’s got Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s signature balance of powerhouse performances and tremendous narrative. It’s got Emmanuel Lubezki’s mind-boggling visuals. It’s got a drummer signifying the world between reel and real. It’s got a pretentious newspaper critic who gets his posterior slammed. And the whole film looks like one spectacular long take.

It’s a movie about you and me. It’s a movie about how you’ve disappointed me, and about how you’ve failed cinema and cinema failed you. It’s also about choosing the easy allure of expensive comfort and settling for mediocrity, versus having the balls to step away from your comfort zone and gaining some self respect. And it’s all rendered as a brutally black comedy.

So get your lazy buttocks off your couch. Shave off that pathetic goatee. Get some vitamins. Drive to the cinema. If you find a movie better than this I’ll clip off my wings, bathe in batter and offer myself on the platter at the nearest KFC. You can then eat me.

But if you choose to not take the effort, I will fucking eat you. And then defecate you on the poster of the next Rohit Shetty movie.

(First published in Firstpost)

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