The movie revolves around a gay couple, Albert and Armand, who owns a drag club in South Miami Beach, Florida. The movie was itself a self-portrayal, which represents the demonstration of an individual of what others think of himself and who they really are. It also represents a concrete difference of how the concept of fear of societal norms, view their gender and 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 plot along with what they bring to the screen. This paper will critically analyze the movie, ‘The Birdcage.’
There was a life style which 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 obviously 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 perceptive, one seems somewhat unsure of the issue on 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 by which the character within the movie represents several aspects of portrayal of fear like a scene in which Barbara Keeley and her parents are on a dinner table. Throughout that time, Albert was very nervous. The audience understands that Albert is hiding who he really is and is fearful of 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 the Albert’s reaction, when Val finally reveals that Albert was really a man. He was fearful of how Sen. and Mrs. Keeley will 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 that has been kept from them the entire 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 his stuttering and confused, symbolizing that he is fearful 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 such complete hysteria carrying such sound messages could be formed. Correspondingly, there are many changes throughout the movie, of which the most significant one was that particular fear of Albert in which he owns up to who he really was and the fear of what others think of him which in the end are going to be vanished. That was the moment when Albert does not let society impact how he himself or his family view him. At last, one accounts that the film leaves the audience to ponder if there really was actually a difference in gender and sex, and if how other people perceive one matters more than how they view themselves.
O’Donnell, Patrick. “James’s Birdcage/Hitchcock’s Birds.” Arizona Quarterly: A Journal of American Literature, Culture, and Theory 62.3 (2006): 45-62.