Birdman Or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance 2014 Meaning and Ending Explanation

If you’re looking for a film to challenge your preconceptions about the psychology of greed, empathy and morality, then Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) is one to watch. Birdman Or (The Unexpected Virtue Of Ignorance) is a 2014 American comedy-drama film directed by Alejandro G.

Iñárritu, written by Jon Raymond and produced by Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor. The film stars Michael Keaton as Riggan Thomson, a washed-up actor best known for playing Birdman in the superhero film Birdman.

All About Of Birdman 2014 Meaning and Ending Explanation

Birdman Or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (2014) Meaning and Ending Explanation

The Film’s Title and Its Meaning

Birdman is far from your average superhero film. On a technical level, its use of extended tracking shots that give rise to what feels like an almost scripted looseness in plot let it dominate more than any film I can remember seeing this year.

The voiceover narration at the start made little sense: if you were Riggan indicating how he’d become Birdman – with Keaton providing the closest I’ve seen to a soliloquy – that analysis would make more sense.

In this movie, so many superhero films seem bereft of anything beyond sporadic bursts of action. Its creators based their thoughts about superheroes (and Keaton’s memories as Batman). They weren’t wrong exactly: Birdman exists because some people want it to exist, and ‘why not,’ even if there are at least a few leagues to go before you can appeal to the masses as comic books do.

Birdman The Movie (2016) Meaning and Ending Explanation by Film Science When we are in Riggan Thomson’s character state of mind, he was a great actor and raised good kids, but things got bad. He stopped smoking, started drinking heavily, and dropped out of his acting movie career because he thought what he was doing wasn’t right anymore.

From the first time this man had seen Birdman being attacked by pigeons, there were meetings to discuss how they make it more real than scratches on the camera.

The Film’s Setting and Significance

The film is set in the fictional city of New York, and the characters are all part of its theatrical world. Particular importance is given to appearances by some well-known Broadway shows, including one sequence that has Riggan sitting on a stage in full makeup and costume as Birdman/The Ugly Duckling.

This reflects how important Method acting has become within Hollywood in recent years, with actors striving to create an authentic connection with their audience. But New York has replaced the fictional town of Mill Valley as the backdrop for Riggan to play his own version of Pecksniff and partly because Point Break (1991) is set in Ventura County, California.

An important reference appears in a success story written by Luke Wheeler, who trains pigeons that he adopts into a show where they are taught circus tricks before flying with Riggan.

The film makes several references to this author’s book. First, the entire story of Riggan’s pigeons is based on their experience with him. There are references to Wheeler (Riggan), and his pigeon acts in the book itself: Luke Wingate Wheelwright was a champion pigeon showman who trained to clown “roaches” as top-num combos of fancy flying birds.

The first difference between these scenes in Birdman vs. Training for Pecksniff is every time he performs a saving -life show with pigeons or performing lions? Are these scenes not just for the entertainment of the audience by magicians but a quest to prove he can do better than Pecksniff? So, for this reason, Birdman had no choice but to become an avian agony-theater again.

The Film’s Main Characters and Their Roles

The Film's Main Characters and Their Roles


The film’s main characters are Riggan Thomson (Michael Keaton), an actor who has hit a low point in his life; his wife Laura (Mia Farrow); their daughter Emma (Emma Stone); and Jack Birdman (Ed Norton), Riggan’s volatile, alcoholic best friend.

Riggan is again struggling to make ends meet as an actor and can barely pay the rent on his small apartment. Years ago, he was a big star, but his success has faded.

Volatile and eccentric Jack Birdman lives in squalor with the pigeons (hence his nickname) that once starred in Riggagan’s former circus act. After Riggan performs an ultimately empty stunt on television involving ten live birds, which testifies their importance as performers, he is forced to admit that his career is over—at least until an act involving African lions.

The Film’s Plot and Development

Riggan agrees to act with lions, but his financial and emotional problems prevent him from preparing for it properly. When he finally does appear on stage, the lions escape and rampage through the audience, killing several people.

Riggan flees the scene in a panic and unsuccessfully tries to get help from Jack. Riggan eventually climbs into a large garbage truck and escapes from the city. Jack manages to catch up with him but is unable to persuade him that his career has not ended for good.

While stranded in an apartment block elevator during their ride down (viewing location), they look out towards the open fields at night. Their reflection on glass captures them as though frozen forever like characters in some eerie painting of old times.

Birdman Or (The Unexpected Virtue Of Ignorance) Ending

Birdman Or (The Unexpected Virtue Of Ignorance) Ending

After the film, the stress becomes too much for Riggan, and he attempts to commit himself with a pistol during a performance of the play. When he awakens in the hospital, he realizes that his suicide attempt was mistaken as some novel sort of shock drama, and it looks like he will be propelled into success once again.

He also discovers that he shot off his nose and that the new reconstruction resembles a bird’s beak. Aside from the strange new design, it seems like everything is finally going Riggan’s way.

However, he jumps from a window in the last scene, likely to his death. Or did he die? We’re not sure because when his daughter walks to the window to look at where he should have fallen to the earth, she turns her eyes up and seems to grin in ecstasy at what we can only assume is her father soaring as he has in earlier hallucinations.

So, did Riggan die by falling? If that’s the case, how did his daughter react? Or did he genuinely have Birdman-like abilities and fly away? Or was it all a dream from start to finish? Fans have been asking questions like these since the film’s release.

Birdman Or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) Ending Explanation

Birdman became an immediate hit in cinemas in 2014 owing to a mix of its captivating graphics, exhilarating performances, and overall strange watching experience. The experiment paid off, with the film winning four Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Cinematography, as well as nominations for Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Supporting Actress, as well as technical nominations for Best Sound Editing and Best Sound Mixing. Suffice it to say, both reviewers and spectators were pleased.

However, if a director chooses to go experimental or surreal, the spectator is left with a few unanswered issues. Birdman is no exception, with its strange, ambiguous finale. Many people left the theater questioning what was genuine and made up. Riggan Thomson, played by Michael Keaton, died or flew away into fame and glory?

Birdman follows Riggan Thomson, a down-on-his-luck actor (played by Michael Keaton). He previously had international renown playing a famous comic book hero (much as Keaton did in his stint as Batman) before his career began to fade. He’s now attempting to make a huge return by starring in and directing a Broadway play, which isn’t going as well as he’d anticipated.

The film depicts the highs and lows of a particularly tough day of rehearsals and performances as Riggan is forced to wrangle a problematic new member to the ensemble (played by Edward Norton) while also dealing with issues with his daughter (played by Emma Stone).

Throughout the film, he is plagued by his most famous character, Birdman, who encounters a series of weird incidents, such as walking off a rooftop and soaring over New York’s streets.

The Film’s Message

To understand what the finale is all about, we must first question what the movie is attempting to express in general. Birdman explores a number of significant subjects. It addresses issues of love, truth, and identity, but arguably the most foreboding subject is that of success vs. integrity, or, to put it another way, blockbuster stardom versus real talent.

Throughout the film, Riggan is tormented by the success he had with a superhero series in the past, but now he’s seeking to create something that would gain him praise for his artistic abilities – something any artist will tell you is easier said than done.

The sequence in which Riggan discusses casting alternatives with his producer, portrayed by Zach Galifianakis, is the most revealing. They go through a list of names: Who is Woody Harrelson? No, he’s preoccupied with The Hunger Games.

Fassbender, Michael? He can’t since he’s working on “the prequel to the X-Men prequel.” Is that Jeremy Renner? He, too, is out because “he’s an Avenger.” The argument is that Hollywood seems to have taken all of the talents and jammed it into high-budget, low-art blockbusters.

The Film’s Style

Birdman’s style is not flashy, but it is effective. The film takes its time and builds the tension until it explodes in a riveting climax. It is an examination of Hollywood’s effect on both its stars and society as a whole and how these forces can often lead to disaster. Birdman’s story of a disgraced former superhero who proceeds to make a comeback hinges on the fluctuating emotions between Riggan and Mike Shiner.

The film depicts how these two characters are constantly shifting in their roles, both trying to portray good parts for themselves and seeking protection from each other. Riggan Birdman is a psychological drama with aspects of comedy and social commentary, creating an individual character study about the actor trying to make his dreams come true once again.

The issues explored within this film – specifically in relation to celebrities (who must perform for public scrutiny), were seen by many reviewers as being uncomfortably close.

It comments on Hollywood’s effects on its actors’ professions, society and vice versa while also confusing audiences into not knowing what is real and fake.

A point of focus, Riggan’s heavy drinking, fits within the film in terms of him only feeling alive when he can interact with his fans while Mike struggles to maintain sanity both at work as a therapist and away from home where he works on the script.

The Symbolism of the Movie

The film’s main thrust is Riggan’s journey to re-establish himself as a celebrated star, only for him to realize that he can’t be who others want him to be anymore. This highlights how people are judged by their external appearance even though internal qualities are what should matter.

Examples include why celebrities think all directors and producers act like puppets on stage, whereas actors might actually regularly get abused onset or interviews where roles in films play a more important part than the actual actor portraying them.

Birdman is filled with symbols designed to reinforce the film’s different themes, but two stand out for our purposes of discovering the ending’s secret: flying and Riggan’s repaired nose.

Flight reappears again and again. Riggan takes to the skies to escape his feelings of poor self-esteem and lack of control. The Birdman persona that haunts him flies to signify his power over Riggan, or, more specifically, the power that blockbuster popularity has over his more impassioned artistic aspirations. Finally, right as Riggan exits through the window, he sees a flock of birds take flight. These are symbols of liberty.

Alternative Ending

According to the writers, the authors contemplated an alternative conclusion that may have supplied a hint.

“The camera prowled like it did the entire film, and went backstage through the halls we’d seen the whole time, and we’d get to the dressing room where literally Johnny Depp would be sitting in the mirror looking in the mirror and putting on his Riggan Thomson wig and then the poster of Pirates of the Caribbean 5 would be in the back,” Dinelaris revealed in a 2015 interview.

In other words, another famous actor attempting to escape the shadow of hackerdom would have taken Riggan’s place, implying that he had died.

So, after considering all of these arguments and options, how should we understand the last scene of Birdman? It seems that, in the end, it is all up to you.

How is the Ending of the Movie

The ending serves as both an epilog and also a celebration of the resulting friendship between Riggan’s son Jake and Depp. Everything is tied up in this way, which for some may be a harsh criticism of Birdman. If you believe that it should end happily with Riggan finding redemption from his past mistakes—and gaining acceptance from his family—then you would dismiss any claims that call the movie pretentious or self-indulgent.

However, if the movie’s message is that it is useless to try and escape the shadow of your past mistakes with violence or vengeance, then you would accept this as one possible way in which Birdman could have ended.

This film leaves us much like Riggan Reynolds: What we see on screen will haunt us for a long time, but we can finally move forward free from these struggles; there isn’t any need for revenge (life has moved on, we are full circle).


Birdman is an American dark comedy film written and directed by Alejandro G. Iñárritu. The film tells the story of Riggan Thomson (Michael Keaton), a washed-up actor best known for playing a superhero, who, after being humiliated in public during a highly publicized event, re-envisions his life as a “superhero” and sets out to redeem himself by staging an elaborate heist.


1.Why Is Birdman Called the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance?

Ans: There is no one answer to this question as it can be interpreted in many ways. However, some possible explanations could include:

  1. Birdman is often seen as an underdog due to his lack of experience in the music industry. This makes him a more honest and genuine artist, which can be appealing to fans.
  2. He has never been afraid to take risks and experiment with new sounds, which has led to his success over the years.
  3. He is known for his unique style and ability to mix different genres of music together, which has made him stand out from other artists.

2.What Is the Plot of Birdman?

Ans: Birdman is a movie about Riggan Thomson, an actor who has been in the business for many years and is considered one of the greatest actors of his generation. Riggan’s career takes a turn for the worse when he is accused of sexual assault and has to go on trial.

The story follows Riggan as he tries to clear his name and regain his reputation while also dealing with the pressure from the public and media.

3.Why Does Sam Laugh at the End of Birdman?

Ans: There is no one answer to this question as it can be interpreted in many ways. Some people might say that Sam laughs because he has realized that he made a mistake and is trying to cover up his embarrassment. Others might say that Sam laughs because he sees the irony in the situation and finds it humorous.

4.Why Do People View the Movie ‘birdman’ as Pretentious?

Ans: There are many reasons why people view ‘Birdman’ is pretentious. Some of the reasons include the use of long, drawn-out monolog, the lack of realism in some scenes, and the overall artistic style used. Another reason is that ‘Birdman’ was shot in a very specific way – with a very high degree of camera movement and framing – making it difficult to follow for those not familiar with cinematography.

5.Can Someone Explain Birdman to Me?

Ans: Birdman is a movie about an actor who has been struggling to find success in his career. He is also dealing with personal issues, such as gambling addiction and a strained relationship with his son. The movie culminates with him performing in a play and trying to recapture the glory of his past performances.

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