Dean's Favorite Movies
Ever feel totally alone...except in your own head? So did Birdy (played by Matthew Modine). Stuck in a world where he feels he does not belong growing up tethered to the ground by gravity he seeks escape through flight. The flight is as spiritual as it is physical as Birdy makes every effort to run from this world he did not create. He finds one true friend (Played by Nicholas Cage), someone who accepts him unconditionally. This friend (though he has a name there is no use for them in this film) is Birdy's only grounding to a world which holds the horrors of bullies grown up to play with adult toys of war. Birdy's Psyche, wrenched in anger and anguish, trying to come to terms with the things that he cannot understand by seeing them through the eyes of a spirit he can understand...that of a bird...so caged. All of this is set masterfully against Peter Gabriel's soundtrack which is simply his album, "Security," revamped for the film without the lyrics. Interestingly enough though, for those Gabriel fans out there, if you listen to Security and truly read the lyrics it will help you to understand the film. The haunting melody of Wallflower, a song depicting a person who has been institutionalized and is asked to maintain his spirit and not break nor bend to the will of the "keepers" plays throughout this film (sans lyrics of course). "6 by 6 from wall to wall, shutters on the windows no light at all, there's damp on the floor and there is damp in the bed, they're trying to get you crazy get you out of your head...Hold on..." I found this film on cable about 19 years ago and found myself crying. It is truly that moving. Also, like so many good films, the book is excellent as well.
This is a love story...a dark and twisted love story by some accounts, but a love story nonetheless. If you are thinking when I say this that it is a "chick flick" or a "skin flick" look elsewhere because it is neither. This is the first movie I have seen that has hit the mainstream that has explored the true meaning behind an S&M relationship...that being one of 100% trust and honesty. Being allowed to let your guard down, open yourself wide, and feel no shame inside the safety of a relationship where someone really understands you and loves you for who you are. To say that this is a romantic comedy would be true, but also unjust because it is so much more than that. A woman who has been misunderstood her whole life meets a man who has also been misunderstood and the only way he has survived is by hiding that side of himself from all save a few...and they have abandoned him...until now. You decide...are they poison for one another or a panacea? I vote the latter. I won't go much further here so as not to be a spoiler, but watch, and squirm, and feel uncomfortable...and then ask yourself, "why does this make me uncomfortable?" If you want a delicious Noir Love Story you have found it in this magnificent film.