Birdy (1984)

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  •  (2.5 out of 5 stars)

You can tell Birdy (1984) is based on a novel. Apparently, director Alan Parker initially turned down the chance to direct it finding it unadaptable, and that maybe was the right instinct. The movie tells the story of Al (Nicolas Cage) and his friend Birdy (Matthew Modine), a young man that is pathologically obsessed with birds and flying. Al goes off to fight in the Vietnam War and when he returns he finds his friend Birdy unable to speak and in a mental hospital. The film is told in flashback of Al's memories of him and Birdy playing with birds. In the mental hospital, Al is repeatedly trying to get Birdy to speak so he can convince the orderlies that Birdy is sane and get him out of there. At this point, the episodic telling of the plot gets very repetitive. While Cage and Modine do their best with the script, they might've been better cast in each other's roles with Modine playing the straight man and Cage playing the crazed bird lover. Alan Parker also does his best directing the material, providing much visual flair to an otherwise routine adaptation. Peter Gabriel provides an interesting synth score. There are so many heart-wrenching scenes, that by the end of this adaptation of William Wharton's novel you feel dramatically punished.

(Summary from Wikipedia)

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