"Birdy" Is Released
Birdy is a 1984 film directed by Alan Parker and starring Matthew Modine and Nicolas Cage.
It is based on the novel of the same name by William Wharton. The story is about two friends, Birdy (Modine) and Al (Cage), who become friends at school and serve in Vietnam. Birdy already has a disturbing fixation with birds and his Vietnam experiences push him over the edge: when he returns from the war, he is sent to a mental hospital for assessment and his friend Al stays with him to try to reach him before it's too late and he'll be separated from Birdy, leaving him alone and lost inside his mind. The films contains many flashback scenes of their life together as teenagers in 1960s America and their developing friendship and views of life.
The film's soundtrack was written and performed by Peter Gabriel. The music contains some adaptations of tracks on Gabriel's third and fourth albums.
Director Alan Parker tackles this adapation of William Wharton's novel, which retains much of the source material's texture and complexity. Matthew Modine is Birdy, who comes back from Vietnam mentally shattered and deludes himself into thinking that he is a bird, an animal that has obsessed him since childhood. Birdy is confined to a military hospital, where he spends his time sitting naked in his room, not acknowleding anyone, moving and acting like a parakeet. His best friend Al (Nicolas Cage), also a wounded Vietnam vet, visits Birdy every day, determined to bring him back to reality. Birdy is occasionally disjointed but enriched by strong performances from Modine and Cage and a number of hard-to-forget moments. ~ Don Kaye, All Movie Guide