If You Could Fly, Would You?

I don’t know how many people have gotten the opportunity to see Michael Keaton’s new film Birdman, but it is, to say the least, interesting. With a stellar cast that includes Zach Galifianakis and Edward Norton, the film follows washed-up actor Riggan Thomas (Michael Keaton), who, after turning down a fourth installment of his well known superhero role “The Birdman,” tries to re-launch his career by putting on a Broadway play which he writes and stars in. You can imagine how much heat he receives for even attempting to do this. Throughout the movie, it seems as though Riggan, constantly taunted by the voice of his Birdman character, has been blessed with telekinesis and the ability to fly. None of the other characters are ever around to witness this. This little motif struck me to be a representation of the internal battle we all have with our past selves.

Attempting to do something new and different can be scary and intimidating in the beginning – like all new challenges. However, in many cases, we can be our own worst enemy or obstacle when trying to move forward on a new path. From then on, a battle incites within. Like Riggan allowing all the critics and his fears to dictate his performance, we let outside distractions block our way and then may use them as excuses not to continue. But sometimes listening to the voice inside is just what we need. When Riggan ultimately gives in to the Birdman character, his “larger than life” movie star persona is revived. After his psychological transformation, Riggan puts on an opening show that turns each sour critic sweet and gains him the respect he sought so earnestly.

In the final scene of the film, we see Riggan’s daughter, Sam, find her father flying outside of the window. Riggan finally decides to let his inner Birdman fly. Hence, my title. If you have the opportunity to take that stomach-turning leap into something potentially awesome, do it. Don’t let anything or anyone stop you from trying to fly. Who knows? Maybe you’ll just soar.

– Gabriel Oigbokie

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