Philly boys Al and Birdy became friends in high school despite the extreme difference in their personalities, Al being the popular and athletic extrovert, Birdy the antisocial "weird" introvert. Al gave Birdy his nickname because of his fascination - obsession really - with birds, especially with flight. Al and Birdy have just completed their service of duty in the Vietnam War and have returned to the States. Al sustained some serious physical injuries, which required major reconstructive surgery to his face. Birdy, however, returned from Vietnam seemingly emotionally scarred. He was missing in action for one month. He has not spoken since he was found. Despite his own medical issues, Al travels to the institution where Birdy is being kept to see if he can assist in getting Birdy out of his near comatose state. Having always had issues with authority, Al is less than forthright with the doctors about Birdy's mental state prior to the war. As Al tries whatever he can to help Birdy ...Written by
A man suffering from post-war trauma is helped by a friend who was also injured in Vietnam. We learn about their friendship through flashbacks. Modine brings a gentle sensibility to the title role of a bird lover so traumatized that he no longer speaks or acknowledges anyone. In what was at the time his biggest role, Cage is dynamic as Birdy's friend, displaying a volatile combination of empathy and anger. There are some very funny moments, such as Birdy's awkward prom date. The film's pacing suffers somewhat due to the episodic nature of the narrative, but Parker infuses the film with visual elegance and skillfully balances the drama and the comedy. The ending is great.
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