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Birdy [DVD] 
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Soar to new heights in this spellbinding movie starring Matthew Modine and Nicolas Cage. To escape an irrational world, Birdy (Modine), a Vietnam veteran, sits in an almost catatonic state in an Armyhospital, where he has come to believe he is one of the feathered creatures of his boyhood dreams. In an effort to break Birdy's silence, his psychiatrist brings in Al Columbato (Cage), Birdy's loyalbest friend of his youth. Al desperately tries to reach the disturbed Birdy and bring him back to reality. The answer may lie in their youth, where the eccentric Birdy first donned wings and the happy-go-lucky Al helped him to fly.
Based on William Wharton's transcendent novel of the same name, this film is about many things: friendship, war, and, of course, birds. The framing device is an effort by a horribly scarred combat soldier (Nicolas Cage) to break through to his best friend, Birdy (Matthew Modine), hospitalised after seemingly being driven mad by fighting in the Vietnam War. Cage then flashes back to their boyhood, where Birdy, a canary aficionado, was considered the school weirdo but managed to be a solid companion none the less. Directed by Alan Parker, it works best as a coming-of-age story, but misses the bizarre psychological transferences of the book, in which Birdy imagines himself within the world of canaries he creates in his bedroom at his parents' house. Modine is fine as an out-of-it misfit enraptured by his own little universe. --Marshall Fine
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Top Customer Reviews
The movie is constucted cleverly as a series of flashbacks in which we see the two characters growing up together, one with a searing passion for birds, and the other with an infatuation for women. After their return from Vietnam, both men deal with their experiences in very different and bizarre ways.
The title character is committed to a mental hospital whilst his friend, who has suffered hoffific injuries in battle, fights to bring him back to sanity.
Matthew Modine and Nicholas Cage give arguably the best performances of their careers in this movie. Alan Parker's direction is faultless as he infuses aspects of humour with the heartbreaking reality of war. Peter Gabriel's soundtrack finishes the combination that makes this movie a 'must see'.
Alan Parker directed the movies 'Pink Floyd - The Wall' and 'Midnight Express' before 'Birdy'. He has since directed 'The Commitments' and 'Evita' amongst others.
Both the young Nicolas Cage and Matthew Modine turn in wonderful performances that are dramatically intense but totally naturalistic and are backed up by a small, sympathetic supporting cast. And although the central premise of the film (that Modine's character wants to be a bird) is a bit 'out there' because of the acting and the story telling we completely accept this. Director Alan Parker does a great job in both directing his cast and in pacing the film so that the flashbacks inform our view of the characters and keep the plot unfolding. Visually the film is stunning, the 50s locations, cars and clothes are all perfect. There is also a pronounced contrast between the boy's 50s Philadelphia neighbourhood which is rich and colourful and the scenes in the mental hospital which are enclosed and stark, with subdued lighting and muted colours. A superb film, with great work from all concerned.
Then Alan Parker, this guy made the film of Pink Floyd's masterpiece "The Wall" too, need I say more.
So if you like a really good story, beautiful directed and filmed by Alan PArker plus Peter Gabriël's music
you have to order this one, you will not be disappointed.
It's a keeper, a film you must have.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A moving film with two superb performances by Matthew Modine and Nicolas Cage. The direction by Alan Parker is masterful.Published 14 months ago by josh91
it is not quite as good as i thought it was when i originally watched it but it is still a good way to waste a bit of time.Published 19 months ago by Alex Doran
Through no fault of seller i completely missed the technical implications of 'region drive code' and on advice of more savvy friend did not change laptop setting. Read morePublished on 5 May 2014 by Michael Gibbons
I watched this film many years ago and I have never seen it on television ever since. So that's why I bought it. I was not disappointed. A classic.Published on 5 May 2013 by Miggy