if you are a struggling artist, you will feel what this film means.
between ego tripping and wanting to blow your own head off, this film bring to life the struggles of a washed up actor breaking out of his mold doing what HE wants. despite the criticism, anxiety over people's opinions, and fear of failure. When that poster of your old movie hangs on the wall telling you this is all you can ever do, self doubt becomes a ticking time bomb, or perhaps... bitter fuel for motivation.
There will always be better and more successful artists out there, and if you arent as good, then you are but a small shadow in their presence. Edward Norton played a role of a highly successful but also narcissistic broadway actor who seemed to have lost his moral conscious long time ago. (quiet contrary to what he is in real life) someone who thinks he on top of his game with disregard to his actions nor respect for those around him. Mocking the protagonist that his success is wholly dependent on his name.
Main while, Michael Keaton's performance makes one forget hes ever in that Robocop reboot. (perhaps this will be a good change from the popcorn movies he was in...) Portraying a divorced father with a voice in his head, struggling just to survive the everyday mental test of directing his first broadway show, the drama between his staff and the visions of his career. He faces constantly pressure from everything around him. His room is almost a metaphor for his state of mind, among the piles of mess around, theres that window he looks out to and see the sky above... Give in to the voice in your head, that depressing yet hopeful cringe feeling telling you not to give up, and screw those who disapprove. You can do this! Dont we all sometimes just want to gulp down a whole bottle and forget who you are? but when you wake up, no matter how trashy you feel, if you set out to do the one thing you meant to do, you could care less whats around you. You are in the zone, you become Birdman, and you can do anything. (you still have to pay that cab fare though)
its funny, how the cost of success is just like blowing out your face with a pistol, and you bleed a little to show people what you are capable of. Through that pain, the struggle, and the urge to just 'kill yourself', at the end of the tunnel, that long dark tunnel, if you dont lose yourself along the way, you are gonna get what you wanted.
ps - yes the camera work is superb in its subtle way.