There’s a scene within the Birdcage (1996) that I by no means bought that I feel I do now th…

So as a result of quarantine the Birdcage is free on youtube. If you have not, it’s best to watch it, albeit with the context that it is a somewhat-mainstream film centered on LGBT from the 90s, so there’s some issues right here and there. It’s humorous.

One of the scenes that stood out to me was this one when Val and Armand are speaking by the pool about Val’s engagement. Initially, when Val asks Armand to inform him it is okay he is getting married so younger, one thing occurs that is at all times perplexed me. Armand will get actually standoffish, threatens to disinherit and abandon Val in his time of want, and adopts a gruff, militant tone that is counter to Robin Williams’, imo, distinct masculine-femininity that characterizes his efficiency all through the movie. And, for a second, Val goes together with it. He steps again, all offended, will get his bag, shakes fingers along with his father – after which the stress breaks. Armand pulls his son in for a tearfully pleased hug they usually begin laughing. What we simply watched was a form of mutual joke.

I’ve been mulling on this for some time as a result of for some time the supposed Comedy of the joke has been misplaced on me. What about that is humorous to Armand and Val? Clearly a takeaway is that it is understood between them that the character Armand performs is one thing anathema to him, however why?

I feel that this has to do with what Val says simply earlier than he asks Armand to inform him it is all proper. He’s attempting to reassure Armand, explaining to him he is bought good financial prospects and connections and that, notably, he is the one man in his fraternity who does not come from a damaged dwelling.

What the joke between Armand and Val, in my thoughts, is describing, is one such relationship, so personally detestable that it is doable it is one thing Armand skilled whereas he was rising up. This ties in to the best way Armand is additional characterised all through the movie. Passing is among the major concepts it discusses and the way it’s one thing Albert, by advantage of his gender identification being the extra fluid of the 2, is completely incapable of, whereas Armand has realized via trial to cover his distinction extra successfully, though maybe much less so than he is inclined to just accept.

Armand has clearly reached a degree the place he’s not required to move so as to stay financially steady or be accepted by his family members, and that stature is one thing he (rightfully) fiercely defends all through the movie. The wounds of no matter he is skilled are nonetheless there, nonetheless inform his concept of fatherhood and his decision-making, and when he decides to assist Val and unironically act out the position he satirizes on this scene, it is a deeply unhappy and delightful second. After mulling issues over within the membership with a batch of arduous liquor, Val walks in on his half-drunk father giving mournful orders to Agador to wash out the house. He tries to thank him, however all Armand does is quietly and soberly ask his son to not discuss to him.

Like I mentioned earlier than the Birdcage is not an ideal film and this submit does not go into the assorted flaws that I feel do exist in its message, and it is written from the angle of a fairly straight man, so there could also be one thing hurtful about this specifically I’m unable to understand, however from that perspective I actually love the best way the Birdcage builds this character.



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