Birdy

Birdy (1984)Birdy” DVD cover looked somehow very familiar, by neither Martin database nor my memory could reveal the fact that I rented this film. I also looked at the few pictures on the back of the DVD box and read the description of the film. Again, it looked very familiar but I couldn’t remember if I so it or not. So I decided to take. It turned out that I haven’t seen it before…

Directed by: Alan Parker
Genres: Drama, War
Cast: Matthew Modine, Nicolas Cage, John Harkins, Sandy Baron, Karen Young, Bruno Kirby, Nancy Fish, George Buck, Dolores Sage, Robert L. Ryan, James Santini, Maud Winchester, Marshall Bell, Elizabeth Whitcraft, Sandra Beall
IMDB raintg: 7.2
My rating: 8.5 ********½

…because if I have, I wouldn’t have forgotten about it. This film can be liked or disliked, but it is one of those that stays in my mind.

Now, did I like it? Mostly.

It has an interesting story, for one. It was based on a novel that was slightly changed to become a better screenplay.

Excellent photography and camera work made this film into an eye candy. Every frame of the film can be seen as a photograph. Separately. No context needed. I even want to add some images to this review, but there are so few of them on the next and I can’t be bothered ripping them off the DVD.

The sound work I didn’t like much. It was very good and appropriate at places, but something strange was happening during too many of dramatic scenes for me to appreciate the effort. Maybe the perception of the melodies changed over the last 20 years (The film is from 1984.)

Acting could use some work too. Matthew Modine was performing excellently. He played a geeky type kid who was madly interested in computers birds. Nicolas Cage wasn’t as good. Those scenes that had to do with his teenagery were OK, but his dramatic performance of the injured Vietnam veteran left me wishing for someone better.

The best and worst thing about this film is that it is very emotionally draining. Alan Parker was playing with audience’s moods and feelings. He would make for a long and boring scene, than for a heavy, dramatic turn that is intense to watch, and than would quickly discharge all the tension with a joke or something else. And he keeps going back and forth in circles.

At some times I wasn’t associating myself with the movie in any way. At others I was almost crying because it resembled an episode from my life. Three seconds later I couldn’t remember what was so sad on my mind just now. And this goes on and on for two hours straight.

Birdy” is a movie that falls more into an art form than into entertainment flick. I’m glad I finally watched it. And although I didn’t like many things about it, it was still a very strong positive experience. Strongly recommended.

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