‘Catherine Called Birdy’ Prime Video Movie Review – Energetic and Enjoyable
The very first thought one has after watching Lena Dunham’s Catherine Called Birdy is, “Hmm, that title sounds weird.” And you see what’s wrong with the title when you find out the name of the book this movie is based on: Catherine, Called Birdy. The comma counts. The title of the 1994 novel informs us that there is a person named Catherine, also known as Birdy. On the other hand, the title of the film suggests a communication between Catherine and Birdy.
And who is this Catherine/Birdy (Bella Ramsey)? She is the daughter of Lord Rollo (Andrew Scott) and Lady Aislinn (Billie Piper). Why is her name Birdy? Maybe because she has a lot of birds as pets. But that answer doesn’t fit into the progressive you-go-girl narrative. You see, Catherine is like a little bird that wants to fly. She wants to pick up a sword, go on an adventure, or be a knight. Basically, she wants to do what she wants. But the adults around him want to clip his wings. Her father especially wants her to get married quickly. A profitable union would erase the debts, which is why suitors are invited to see Catherine.
Catherine is as naughty as she is rebellious. She plays in the mud, eavesdrops on private conversations and scares away her suitors. Rollo’s blows to his hand with his rod do little to dampen his spirits. Catherine is 14 years old and lacks sex education. When she has her first period, the blood makes her think she is about to die. “I must bid farewell and carry on in good spirits. I will go bravely and with God in my heart. Please give my brooch to my future sister. And my Bible to my brother Edward, and tell him that I’m sorry. pudding on the pages,” she solemnly says to Morwenna (Lesley Sharp), her caretaker. Just wait to hear what she has to say about how women get pregnant.
One of the joys of watching Catherine Called Birdy is that we get to be in Catherine’s company. Ramsey gives an electrifying performance. Adults may want her to become a poised woman, but the film allows her to be delightfully childlike. Not only that, but Catherine Called Birdy steps forward and shoots her volatile load from her leading lady. The mood sometimes oscillates between happy and miserable, but the actors keep this film from falling apart. The fart and lame jokes stay on the same surface with scenes of pain and grief. There are no nasty bumps or other jarring sensations. If you laugh after learning that a man wears his armor in bed, you also wince when you see a pregnant woman in pain.
Many historical dramas are obsessed with precision. Dunham, however, isn’t shy about adding songs like My Boyfriend’s Back and This Girl is on Fire. The needle drops can get too much to bear, but luckily we have someone like Ramsey to divert our attention from the unpleasant elements. Frankly, every actor is engaged. Nobody sleepwalks for a paycheck. This is why the figures appear as flesh and blood and not as expressionless people posing in medieval costumes. Catherine Called Birdy often alludes to something darker but refuses to go completely in that direction. The climax may seem too easy and convenient, but it lines up with the scene where Catherine discovers something about her brother. Both moments shatter Catherine’s perception of her family members. She ends up becoming a selfless person. However, given the quirky design, the film inserts a moment of humor into its good deeds (watch out for a bird that suddenly drops dead on the ground).
Catherine called Birdy may have some imperfections, but she also has her charms. He has a feverish energy that captures your attention and rewards you with amusements.
Final score – [7/10]
Reviewed by – Vikas Yadav
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