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Analysis of Birdman

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Analysis of ’Birdman’

In the movie ‘Birdman’ we follow the former cinema superhero Riggan Thomsen as he plans on being this new and ambitious Broadway actor instead of being a forgotten actor he is. We see in his development how he uses all of his energy on being this newborn Broadway actor that he forgets to focus on his family and the people who care for him. He thinks too much of his reputation and therefore lacks out for acknowledge. The voice of his former role and his alter ego Birdman, still talks to him inside his head. The voice tries through the entire movie, to convince him to pursue his dreams as being a famous actor again. To make him important again. For example in the beginning in the movie, where he elevates in his room, it is used as a metaphor to show how he thinks that he is more important and better than everyone else. Towards the end of the movie, we get the feeling that he wants to connect with his family again and build up a stronger relationship with them that he has torn apart. He realizes his shortcomings and apologizes to his family.

The relation between reality and fiction is hard to determine. They sort of blends together through the movie, and as the audience, it is hard to find out whether it is reality or fiction. Hyperreality is one of the methods that is often used in the movie; e.g. the scene where he imagines the big terror and fighting and the huge bird destroying the city. Everything is up in his head and the Birdman voice is the one visualizing it for him. So in that way, Hyperreality is included in the movie. Another example is in the end where he jumps out of the hospital window and flies up on the sky. We don’t see him do that, but his daughter looks outside and up on him, smiling as she now understands him, which gives some extra confusing to the audience and makes us question the reality of the movie.

The movie also contains some intertextuality with the whole Birdman/Batman theme. Riggan that used to play the main character of the fictional super hero movie Birdman refers to real actor of Riggan, Michael Keaton who used to play Batman in 1988 and again in 1992. It was a big time for Keaton playing Batman; therefore it is also used in Birdman in a postmodern way.

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