Bird (2024)

Bird Review

Bird (2024)

Nykiya Adams is a 12-year-old girl drowning in the depths of kitchen-sink miserablism, and for her, Rogowski is an eccentric stranger but indeed stranger.

In fact, eight years ago Andrea Arnold left England with her camera in hand and brought her brand of kitchen-sink British austerity to America where she directed “American Honey,” a movie that told of those wild youths who seemed to be the spirit of our century. This indie blast was like no other I had seen before because it seemed as if Hip-Hop Dardenne Brothers had produced it. However, “Bird”, Arnold’s dramatic feature after several years (in between which she filmed some minutes of “Big Little Lies”, took part into the documentary “Cow” and directed episodes for “Transparent”), back to its miserable drawing board on the lives of a group of young people leading undirected life in Britain which seem dead zones (“Bird”). I wish she didn’t leave just yet; apologies for thinking so.

Arnold has been both a darling at Cannes and among critics. So when I say that this film does not quite hold together as a movie shown today at Cannes named ‘Bird’ I believe that I am out of touch. It does have compassion and honesty inherent in Arnold’s own style, and also shows her great skill as an artisan. Moreover, it features two young actors acting on the rise.

Playing Bug, single dad of two who stays all his days hanging around his flat situated at Kent squatter, Keoghan behaves differently now because he has attained the status of being an actor (he behaves knowingly) (He gives off the awareness that he’s a star). What he spent too much time doing is tattoos. His flesh from torso upwards has become a zoo: there are flies, spiders – starting on right side face –and one big intricate centipede covering him from behind up until neck region winding round about. But his children are nothing.

One of them is Bailey (Nykiya Adams), the film’s heroine, who at 12 appears much older. Part of this owes to her precociousness but it also comes from a sulky hardness; her quiet, appraising gaze never leaves her face. Her mother lives above a drug den in another part of the town with a boyfriend who is usually an angry psycho abuser (Arnold). Arnold gives us many scenes in which the camera follows Bailey around, walking on this bridge with wire mesh while capturing what makes this girl so deviantly. Furthermore, there is also some footage of bird videos that Bailey keeps on her phone and projects onto her bedroom wall.

She cuts off her braids leaving only Bailey’s head rounded by the rest hair looking even more stoic and sad than ever before due to annoyance caused by earlier events. Notably too, Hunter (Jason Buda), their half-brother belongs to some disorganized vigilante youth gang wearing creepy masks that go around terrorizing locals with bad names. It could be argued that such penalizations imposed by these young “Clockwork Orange” squad (“Cut him!” one shouted) are worse than crimes themselves.

Sometimes a movie like “Bird” is necessary because it reminds of the old Arnold pictures such as “Fish Tank.” However, she is no longer doing a coming-of-age drama about wasted lives — not just that says I. It’s kind of a showy performance by Keoghan (he’s supposed to be an awful father but doesn’t even seem like one). However, Bailey seems to be overdoing her opposition to Bug’s plan that includes marrying his three-month long girlfriend (the young man will pay for it with the money he gets after selling poisonous slime from the back of a frog). She may be only 12 years old but can’t accept wearing a purple catsuit and being a bridesmaid. This takes independence too far into absurd precosity.

Wandering into the meadow, Bailey stumbles upon some strange guy who has put on a skirt and got damaged looks on him. The person is called Bird and Franz Rogowski played this character; in Ira Sachs’ “Passages” he played a female filmmaker with so much madness that he spoiled the whole film. As far as being concerned, Bird’s emotional range is at its opposite extreme, making him appear both sweet-natured and gentle as if someone had made Joaquin Phoenix out of crushed velvet and thrown Klaus Kinski in there, too. Bailey becomes friends with Bird simply because they are presented in the high-concept framework of this film. Bailey helps Bird find his biological father who wants nothing to do with him. And the other way around… well let us say he lives up to his name.

Emotional destitution meets fairy tale? Will Andrea Arnold diehards love “Bird”? Apart from those, I’m not sure there might be any other audience for this movie. Arnold here is trying to have her cake and eat it too; she still wants her austerity though. At first glance, “Bird” may seem to be a feel-bad movie that turns to a feel-good movie at some point. But what it never feels is entirely genuine.

Watch Bird For Free On Gomovies.

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