Birdman and the Ego

1213A rainy autumn evening in London, with leaves all over the sidewalk and people in their cars rushing through the rain towards their homes to sit down and sip a warm cup of tea. The tension grows while they await for the traffic light to become green – the colour which will grant them free and unconstrained access towards that final warm destination.

In spite of it all, I decided to leave my house and drive towards the city centre. What better night in London then a rainy one where you can enjoy the company of friends at an old-school cinema where Jack the Ripper roamed ages ago – Whitechapel.
Genesis Cinema. Featuring: Birdman.

Beyond the interesting people that were gathering inside the cinema’s main hall, this place had the stain of ages, where movies were released and people from around East London feasted their eyes on great masterpieces of old.

It was as if I had travelled through a time portal and ended up back 40-50 years ago.

Could I actually be going in to see a movie which is not your modern blockbuster with handsome and pretty actors whose main ego driven career and Hollywood agenda would be to captivate the minds of people addicted to these easy-going type of superficial movies that are shoved down our throats every day of our modern lives?

Dusty and rusty seats, all levelled at the same surface, yet the image and atmosphere was perfect.
Birdman: Or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance.

Michael Keaton, the main actor, faces a life crisis in which his former career as a blockbuster actor had come to an end, decided to create true art. True art is neglected nowadays and thus he finds himself as the director and main actor of his would be masterpiece with little support from others.

However, he faces the main antagonist of this movie: His EGO.
It is no coincidence that Michael Keaton took the role of Batman in 1989, a highly acclaimed superhero movie with a big revenue for the producers.

Birdman was Riggan’s (Michael keaton’s character) main role similar to our Batman from 1989.

His EGO pushes him down the road of questioning whether he should create a true art masterpiece where only a handful would come and praise him, whereas if he were to please his EGO, he could renounce his project and end up filming a sequel to his commercial and highly “praised” success: Birdman.
Fame, Money, Acclamation, Adoration and Self-Confirmation would be only the few of the benefits of going down the Birdman route.

And these exact pursuits are those which feed the Ego.

However, the main character, Birdman, decides to overcome the urge of feeding his EGO and proceeds to complete his masterpiece, in spite of all the challenges and breakdowns that he goes through.

The ending ( SPOILER ALERT!!!) is left to interpretation though, did he actually kill himself on stage or did he kill his ego? Is the final part at the hospital really happening or is it just a final product of his consciousness?

Birdman is the story of one’s fight with his own Ego and eventually overcoming the selfish ideals that society demands of him.

He fought against what the majority wanted and created that piece of art which made him happy.

Remember, do not kill your Ego, do not get rid of it, just accept it, observe whenever it kicks in and go beyond what it wants.

Until next time,

Vlad Ciupitu

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