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Movie Review-The Birdcage

The movie revolves around a gay couple, Albert and Armand, who own a drag club in South Miami Beach, Florida. The movie was self-portrayal, which represents the demonstration of an individual of what others think of himself and who they are. It also represents a concrete difference in how the concept of fear of societal norms, view their gender and a person’s biological sex affects the opinion of oneself. The movie was brought to life by the superb individuality of each character and what was added to the plot along with what they bring to the screen. This paper will critically analyze the movie, ‘The Birdcage.’

There was a lifestyle that was been explored along with every sexual orientation in this movie, through each discrete character. For instance, the character Albert represents the insecure, emotional, and erratic homosexual male. Throughout the movie, he engages in several womanlike activities. Through his gestures and actions, Albert views himself as a female and would consider his gender to be female. It seems as though Albert views himself as a female therefore he is a female. Albert appears to care little about how others view him and his femininity. From this perspective, one seems somewhat unsure of the issue of gender versus sex by means of flip-flopping claims. It was evident that many individuals support the idea that sex and gender are different and Birdcage illustrates the difference between sex and gender, but also highlights the idea of fear of presenting who you truly are.

In perceptive to detailed insight, the movie itself discusses the idea of fear, which, on the other hand, was socially and culturally embedded within most of the society. There are many ways in which the character within the movie represents several aspects of the portrayal of fear, such as in a scene in which Barbara Keeley and her parents are at a dinner table. Throughout that time, Albert was very nervous. The audience understands that Albert is hiding who he is and fears being caught. His nervousness is demonstrated when he falls into the curtain separating the dining room and the kitchen.

Similarly, the cinematography was itself at its extreme, like the representation of Albert’s reaction, when Val finally reveals that Albert is a man. He was fearful of how Sen. and Mrs. Keeley would react to the fact that Albert had chosen to make his gender different from his biological sex. The camera then zooms in on Sen. and Mrs. Keeley, who are finally in on the secret they have kept from them throughout the movie. Their reactions signify their uncertainty; their mouths are open, they do not blink, and they do not say anything. When Sen. Keeley finally speaks he is stuttering and confused, symbolizing his fear of the information he has just gained. One claims that humans are fearful of the unknown, and that explains why Sen. Keeley seems to be afraid.

With such a creative director, crew, and stellar cast, only a film of complete hysteria carrying such sound messages could be formed. Correspondingly, there are many changes throughout the movie, of which the most significant one is that particular fear of Albert in which he owns up to who he is and the fear of what others think of him which in the end will vanish. That was when Albert did not let society impact how he or his family viewed him. Finally, one accounts for the film leaving the audience to ponder if there was a difference in gender and sex and if how other people perceive one matters more than how they view themselves.

Works Cited

O’Donnell, Patrick. “James’s Birdcage/Hitchcock’s Birds.” Arizona Quarterly: A Journal of American Literature, Culture, and Theory 62.3 (2006): 45-62.



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