The Birds (1963) Film Review
Tuesday, November 16, 2021
Last night, I noticed an indie channel was showing three Alfred Hitchcock movies in a row. So, I stayed up to watch them for fun because I enjoy Hitchcock movies for their drama, mystery, and suspense. Actually, I don’t think any of his movies are scary at all. They are just fun to watch, like Polanski and Kubrick’s movies because they just have a slightly dark undertone in the background of the plot, which controls the story into moving in a certain direction.
The Birds is a 1963 movie, starring Tippi Hedren, Rod Taylor, and Veronica Cartwright. When I first watched the movie, I didn’t realize the Tippi Hedren was Melanie Griffin’s mother, even though I now see the resemblance in the facial features and the blonde hair. I saw this movie as a cute romantic comedy, with some added mystery, drama, and suspense in the background. I enjoyed the romance aspect of the story. It starts out with Melanie Daniels walking inside her favorite store, a bird pet shop, located in downtown of the Bay area. Mitch Brenner enters to buy lovebirds for his little sister’s birthday, but he ends up flirting with Melanie instead, which I thought was a cute and funny scene. He leaves without buying any birds but leaves a lasting impression on Melanie, who decides to find out where he lives. She ends up buying the lovebirds for him and takes them to his place, but he isn’t there, and she doesn’t want to leave the poor birds in the hallway. So, she plays the inquisitive detective to find him, which reminded me of scenes from Sleepless in Seattle, where Annie searches for the widower Samuel Baldwin because of her sudden infatuation from a radio talk show. As she goes on her way, she also meets his ex-girlfriend Annie Hayward as well as many townspeople, who all help her find Mitch Brenner. But the flock of birds is always waiting in the background to make some kind of havoc or chaos in the town, mostly to disturb the peaceful small-town environment. When she arrives at the island where Mitch’s mother lives, a bird warns her to back off by flying down on her and scratching her head with a minor wound. But I felt that all the people in the story as well as the birds, including the lovebirds' gift, all worked together to bring this couple closer toward future mates.
I also noticed many characters were seeking love but had abandonment issues. Lydia Brenner, Mitch’s mother, didn’t want to lose her son to his future wife, which is why she had messed up the relationship between Annie Hayward and her son, and Annie still loved him, which is why she still lives and works in the same area to be closer to Mitch as a friend. Lydia has abandonment issues when she became a widow, and she didn’t want to live alone without a man in her life. But Melanie comforts Lydia during the whole “birds-ordeal” situation, in which she wins Lydia’s acceptance. His little sister Cathy likes Melanie, as well. Melanie becomes close with the whole family, as well as his ex-girlfriend Annie.
The diner scene was also interesting because the community was coming together. Two people were exposing the truth. An older woman informed the people it wasn’t the birds’ fault, but rather mankind is trying to destroy the environment and the animals. But everytime she talks someone tries to silence her. An Irishman in that scene keeps blurting out bible verses, stating that it is all about the “end of the world.” But the community doesn’t want to hear from him either because he appears to be drunk anyway.
The birds help the couple, as well as the community, connect together, regardless of their differences or their issues, and everyone comes together at the end. A sign when the birds kill Annie at her front lawn is a sign that Mitch has finally found the woman he is going to marry because his whole family accepts her as the one. Moreover, this whole “birds-chaos” reminds me of what the year 2020 has done to the public, bringing everyone together to fight back in a peaceful and loving manner for their freedom and rights.
Well, that’s my take on the 1963 Alfred Hitchcock movie, The Birds. Every time it comes on the indie channel, I like to watch it again because I discover something new in the story and scenes. I like paying close attention to the details because I realize I need to work on creating similar details in the novel that I am currently working on, but I am still struggling with writer’s block. Such detail-oriented directors — Hitchcock, Polanski, and Kubrick — inspire me to improve my writing skills in some way.
PS. I didn’t realize that this review will be this long. Therefore, I have decided to do a separate post for each Hitchcock film review.