What Does The End Of 'Birdman' Mean? It's More Complicated Than You Might Think
One of the biggest front runners in the Oscar race is the much buzzed-about Birdman. Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's dark look at an actor trying to reclaim his relevance has made a born-again star out of Michael Keaton. The up-close-and personal syncopated fever dream that was Birdman is more than just a story about a has-been's desire for reclamation. The film also tackles depression, suicide, the culture of technology, and the very nature of making art and what it means to be a real artist. Above all, it's about trying to find meaning, or positing if there even is any such thing.Well, at least that's my interpretation. The controversial ending (spoilers ahead!) in which Sam (Emma Stone) looks into the sky with awestruck wonder after her father Riggan (Keaton) supposedly jumps out of a hospital window, has left many audiences wondering what the film is really all about.
According to the screenwriters, there is not definitive "end" to Birdman. The final scene is meant to leave you wondering and questioning not just the entire film, but the very nature of art and human existence. In an interview with The Huffington Post, Dinelaris commented:
We're not going to sit around and explain the ending. I guess my thing is, if you can silence the voice of mediocrity, then what is possible? [That] is good enough for me...But we thought if we answered that question at the end, it would seem very, very small. Is he famous because he shot himself? That's small. Is he still miserable? That's small. Everything seemed small.
So you can look up as many theories as you want on Reddit, but when it comes to the people who made the film, they don't have an answer about the ending. They want you to find your own. According to Stone,
...Alejandro's favorite thing about this movie is trying to keep the rabbit in the hat as much as possible and I think it's a good idea to keep the rabbit in the hat because I love the ending so much and it's probably better just to say, "Yes, I feel like I know what she's doing, but…" I definitely know what she was thinking in that moment, but the takeaway should be ambiguous.
Well, that answers that. Or not.
Images: New Regency Pictures