Well, that was a pretty exhausting couple of hours….
Claustrophobic camera work, almost entirely in the dark innards of a Broadway theatre. Pounding drums and clanging cymbals a near constant sound-track. Intensely psychological narrative of an ageing movie actor, desperately searching for validation on stage whilst wrestling with his own alter ego.
This is not an easy watch. Last time I saw Michael Keaton was probably in Multiplicity, 18 years ago. A light comedy with a subtly heavier – almost Groundhog Day-like – message, he was cloned to help him cope with his busy life.
Since then, Keaton has starred in two Batman mega-hits, before opting out. Just like Birdman, although that was three.
So what’s real here, and what’s life imitating art?
This is a clever script, darkly acted, brutally directed, brilliantly shot and sound-tracked.
And it’s a lot more challenging than Multiplicity.