DRUNKEN BIRDS (#PFF30)
Beautifully filmed, but narratively flawed, Drunken Birds buckles under the weight of trying to do too much and, in turn, not doing enough.
Separated from the love of his life, Willy makes his way to Canada from Mexico as a seasonal migrant worker, leading to new relationships and dangerous tensions. Drunken Birds is Canada’s entry into the international Oscar race. The story attempts to tackle lost love, troubled youth, the drug cartel, marital affairs, and immigration all at one time, each storyline feeling half-baked unresolved by the end. Though the acting is solid throughout, it isn’t enough to lift an otherwise one-note film that has only a brief moment of heightened stakes.
There is more at play here in Drunken Birds, a fantasy element that isn’t clear to the lay viewer and one that can be a bit confusing. This inclusion, as well as the already muddled plot, is not executed well and leads to a rough structure that is unappealing. The true strength of the film can be found in visually appealing cinematic choices that set the scenes and bring you into the story; the settings are astonishingly beautiful. I only wish the characters and the story were more fleshed out.
Photo from The Hollywood Reporter