I saw Birdman and in general I liked, but it left me a few unsolved issues. Essentially, does the character kill himself at the end? Or the movie wants us to believe that he really flies? And why does he take the terrible decission? After all, everything came well to him. The play is a success, he will recover his investment and people start to forget Birdman and might start learning his real name.
Searching for this subject, I read that the director thought in an alternative ending for this movie. It involved Johnny Depp discussing his role as Jack Sparrow in the “Pirates of the Caribean” series. This role could represent what Birdman was for Riggan. Luckily that idea did not prevail, because it was worse than the current ending.
I propose the following alternative scenes near the end:
1. The fact that his daughter dates his archi-enemy could be one point against him. He is responsible for introducing them.
2. He could have been exposed to the idea that he was too old to play Birdman again. His friend and producer could have been the one.
3. Maybe the producer brought some publicity by causing the naked run scene.
4. Maybe the producer brought some publicity by loading the gun.
If some of these issues were true, there would be enough guilt, shame and humiliation to force him to commit suicide.
I am sure there could be more reasons if I examine the movie more closely. For instance, in the relationship with his former wife, the daughter or the other characters. Like the one who had an accident and could be sueing the responsible ones.
I would like another scene that shows how old and rundown Birdman is: the producer proposes a rerun of Birdman. He imagines himself in his suit, athletic and defiant. But the producer was thinking about Old Birdman in a wheel-chair, with his son trying the old suit. We see a flash of both images, and feel sorry for the poor Reegan. This is something else that could have pushed him over the edge.
A bit of black humor: when Birdman is falling from the 10th floor and goes thru the 5th floor, a slow camera motion shows him saying: “So far, so good…”.
His last words can be: “If shooting my nose was hyperrealism, this is hyper-hyper realism”…
Anyway, if Alejandro Iñárritu is reading this, maybe we will appoint me as a creative writer for his next movie. How about Catman, Lyonman or Cougarman?
See this short video at YouTube: Alternative ending for Birdman.