Birdman Climax

Birdman Climax

Birdman Climax

In this week’s Friday Fundas I would like to talk about the Climax or ending of the movie – Birdman. If you have come here looking for review of Birdman then click here to read the review on Birdman movie.

It has been a while since Birdman has been released and many of us have seen the movie. If you still haven’t seen the movie do not read this article yet as it contains spoilers. But if you have seen the movie then go on to read this and share your views on this one.

SPOILER ALERT: Here is a recollection of what happened in the climax. In the last few sequences you see the character Riggan Thomson (played by Michael Keaton) shoot himself on his nose while doing the final act of the play he had produced, directed and acted in. He is in the hospital bed, speaking to his daughter. When his daughter steps out he walks into the bathroom looks at his new nose in the mirror while the birdman’s voice starts speaking to him. Then he steps out of the window and jumps off. When his daughter enters the room she is shocked to see her dad missing. She looks out of the window, sees up in the sky and smiles.

There has been many interpretation of this climax. There are theories that Riggan Thomson dies at the end and there are theories that he is still alive. Director Alejandro hadn’t revealed the ending he had perceived but left it open for interpretation. In an interview he had mentioned that leaving it open for interpretation was the only powerful ending the movie could have and hence he decided to leave it that way. Well since he hasn’t talked about the ending we could take the creative liberty of coming up with our own versions of the ending. Here is my interpretation of the ending.

My interpretation of the whole movie is more metaphorical in nature. Hope this is interesting to you. The major conflict in the movie is a dual between the Birdman’s voice in Riggan’s head and his actual self. This keeps growing more as the movie progresses. In a way the Birdman’s voice is persuading Riggan to live in his past glory while he wants to move away from it. There are sequences like the one in the bar which assures him that still he has fans for the Birdman character he played in the movies. The character of Riggan’s daughter is a very pivotal one to the movie. It is the manifestation of the alter ego of Riggan which pushes him to do something different in life and eventually move away from being Birdman. That is one of the reasons she is upset with him when she says that he hasn’t spent time with her in her early days. There is also a sequence where she is openly talking to him stating that no one ever cares about Birdman as he thinks. This also emphasizes the fact that Riggan has always hid inside the mask of a Birdman without believing in his skills. She eventually starts flirting and making love to Mike Shiner who is the new found artist in Riggan’s place and who also practices Method Acting. This emphasizes the fact that Riggan’s conscience is in love with natural acting skills as opposed to being hid under a popular mask.  Through the movie he moves closer to his daughter indicates what he truly loves. But still the fear of failing is hurting him and this fear is capitalized well by the Birdman’s voice. When he performs well on the finale show he shoots his nose. Post this the entire sequence is a hallucination. Metaphorically his broken nose indicates he has successfully hurt the Birdman’s voice in him. During the start of the movie Birdman’s voice tells him “You are in a shit hole..” but in the final scene we see the Birdman sitting on the toilet seat when Riggan is examining his new nose, indicating that Birdman is the one sitting on the shit hole. Riggan walking out of the window and jumping indicates that he has successfully got rid of the Birdman for good. This is what is revealed when his daughter comes to the window looks up in the sky and smiles. She or in turn the true self of Riggan is happy to see Birdman go off and his true-self  is now flying high in the reality where his true acting and directing skills are applauded by many.

This is the ending that I would like to think of as the ending for the Birdman movie. If you have any interesting interpretations share it in the comments section.

2 thoughts on “Birdman Climax”

  1. I have almost the same feeling abt the ending. Though I could never have thought of Riggan’s daughter as his alterego.. that’s an interesting one.. and makes sense too! Overall movie and Riggan’s character was so weird ! 🙂

    1. Yes the characters are bit weird for a reason as they are meant to question one’s inner self hard 🙂

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