I saw Birdman the other day. It was an interesting film, with some dark humour as well. My favourite bit was when Mike Shiner asked Sam the worst thing her dad did to her.
Sam is the daughter of the protagonist, Riggan, an ageing actor who is anxious to demonstrate his artistic skills after gaining fame in blockbusters. Riggan is divorced from his wife, Sam’s mother, and Sam’s just got out of rehab. Everybody (including Riggan) knows that Riggan hasn’t been a good father.
So Sam answers Mike’s question: “He was never around when I needed him” (or something along those lines). Mike is incredulous; he says “Is that it? Is that the worst thing he did to you?” And then Sam says “Well, he was never there, and in order to make up for this, whenever he was there, he made me believe that I was special.” That sort of broke my heart; I’d never thought about it.
Earlier in the movie Sam and Riggan have an argument where Sam wants her father to confront his ego problem. There are instances of Riggan being engrossed in his own troubles, forgetting about the people that matter most to him, whereas Sam has resigned herself to invisibility. That makes you think that, maybe it was this disillusionment that made her turn to drugs – discovering that she wasn’t actually special, unlike how her dad led her to believe. Riggan realizes that he is not that special quite late in the film, and it has much more devastating consequences for him.
The film had its mysterious bits – I came across this very enlightening piece solving all the puzzles. Read the reader comments too, they are even more enlightening!
(How carefully do some people watch films? Do they do this in the cinema or at home, with a DVD?)