It’s a fabulous mix- up of various themes. That much is too obvious to need counting off. But there is the obedient camera in there which as a friend of mine once remarked “almost makes you follow the story and its nuances.” It’s for the ‘perpetually distracted’ young people then. (Quotes because following virtual world and reacting adequately to the real world is never going to happen because it’s the disappointment with the real that makes virtual attractive in the first place)
What happens to this mishmash? That’s the take-off point of the story as that’s when one gets engaged with the movie. And it makes you obediently follow the novel theme. You get a feeling that it’s something you haven’t seen before. You are a movie buff now. You know themes and their patterns and it ‘s not that exciting now to see some young blood being shed at an old altar i.e. new artists trying classic themes.
But Bird Man breaks new grounds because out of the lives of a few characters, necessarily tied to their work, it fleshes out a reinvention followed quite fashionably with a breath taking dessert of magic-realism. The audience wishes to get so near and so convinced of authenticity that it needs a new nose to fix it for the artist the superfluous cynicism of the audience.
But it is the theater audience and the cynic still leaves – untouched and unmoved. You are still there. And the camera tells you how to feel. Transcendent. For a moment, but still. But that’s not enough for the cynic among cinema audience. So to finally establish the triumph of story the movie leaves on an unexpected yet convincing note. Because in the real world the artist will be dead. And the cynic needs his illusion too.