What an appropriate movie to be watching during quarantine time…
It may take me some hours to process, but as of now, Melanie Daniels is my favorite Hitchcock character/personality, thus far. In fact, a handful of side characters in The Birds I found to be “favorite-worthy,” and that’s where this film often hits its high points. From the contested teacher, Annie Hayworth, to the clingy mom, Lydia Brenner, pretty much every primary character in Hitchcock’s follow-up to Psycho is tremendously realized—not the obnoxious sister though; HA. So, indeed, the entire set-up to these first-rated characters was exquisite.
I have issues with Hitchcock’s longly commended disaster movie, despite a debatably flawless first-half development to the upcoming “invasion.” Once the movie begins implementing the terrifying sequences with the homicidal birds, the thriller concept begins to feel very much like an after-thought to the story that was instituted in the first half. From there on after that initial half, we are greeted with some out-of-the-blue, almost exposition-like philosophical conversations that may think they’re as heavy-handed as something like say Rope but are so utterly vague that they more so come off as interrupted concepts rather than fully realized accusations. Furthermore, its attempts to tie back our established knowledge of the central characters to a thematic purpose appear quite rushed rather than justified.
It’s undeniable, however, that in this second portion of the movie, there is a fair amount of suspenseful execution to survey—even if they are occasionally generated out of obtuse character decisions or contradicting conveniences. Notwithstanding this, The Bird’s was insanely ahead of its time for the thriller-esc epidemic blockbuster genre and is topped with one of Hitchcock’s most poetic closing shots.
But same thing with, North By Northwest: 1st half >>> 2nd half.
“The Birds” is now available to stream on YouTube, iTunes, Google Play, Vudu, Amazon Prime, and Hulu.