“Birdman Or (The Unexpected Virtue Of Ingorance)”
Music By Antonio Sanchez & Various Artists
Soundtrack Album Review
Milan Records/22 Tracks/Disc Time: 77:08
“Birdman Or The Unexpected Virtue Of Ignorance is the latest critically acclaimed film from director Alejandro G. Irriartu that follows his exceptional work on films such as “21 Grams” and “Babel”. The film revolves around Riggan Thomas (Michael Keaton in an Oscar worthy performance “Batman”) who was once known quite well an iconic super hero called “The Birdman” had recently turned down a third installment of the franchise. Now washed up, he attempts to reinvent himself as a director by staging a new retelling of a classic Broadway dramatic play called “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love”. The events leading up to the Saturday night premiere prove to be one disaster after another as the original lead actor is injured while on set and he scrambles to find a replacement, but the replacement proves to be exactly who he needs – a method actor named Mike (Oscar nominee Edward Norton, “Primal Fear”) who takes the job way too seriously and has a hard time juggling his persronal life between the set, his replacement actor, his equally washed up drugged out daughter Sam (Emma Stone, “Easy A”, and a host of other disasters that prevent a proper staging of the play.
The film is an interesting character study and a good solid piece of entertainment that is very enjoyable for what it is and this also reflects in the music as well. Irraitu’s films have featured a fair amount of pre-recorded material the plays well throughout his films and just enough for a real score to act as bridges for these songs and important scenes. Jazz percussionist Antonio Sanchez was chosen to do the score for the film which in itself is just as unorthodox as the film itself. A completely percussion based score that just unleashes the frantic, frenetic and desperate world of Michael Keaton’s characters’ attempts to return to his former glory. Highlighted by frenetic material in tracks such as “Get Ready”, “Night Chatter”, “Internal War”, “Schizo”, “Claustrophobia”, and “The Anxious Battle For Sanity”, these are the perfect examples of what Sanchez is underscoring through Keaton’s mind in the film, but doesn’t quite work on its own here to be honest.
Milan Records’ album features the full extent of Sanchez’s contribution to the film and some wonderful classical pieces by the likes of Mahler, Tchiakovsky and Ravel to name a few that really are the best thing about this album to be honest. The score is pretty much an exercise of musical drum chaos which is pretty much what Irraitu requested of Sanchez instead of a more traditional score for a film such as this by likes of say a Howard Shore, Alan Silvestri, Christopher Young or even Theodore Shapiro which were all perfect for this film if I had my say.
“Birdman (Or The Unexpected Virtue Of Ignorance” is another great example of a film that needed a better film score to make the movie just as memorable. It is a noble experiment that unfortunately doesn’t pay off too well on CD on its’ own and might have worked much better in a long suite of music more like a symphony of chaos that would’ve had a flow to it. I was really looking forward to this one but I really can’t recommend this album for other than the great classical music that’s on it. The score is a major disappointment. Thumbs down.
Birdman Or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) is available from Barnes & Noble, Best Buy and Amazon as well as iTunes.