There is no reason for this adaptation to exist. Film provides so much flexibility compared to musical theater so it is beyond comprehension why Eastwood chooses not to leverage these elements.
It is straight forward in narrative, there is overused narration, and things are told rather than shown. This is essentially the musical with less urgency and without the appeal of live theater and music.
Inarritu has long screamed 'look at me!' with his films, and this has sometimes bordered on annoying. There may be no other film where this screaming is heard more, but in this case Birdman actually works.
The long takes and tight sets fit with the theater locale, the pretentiousness and ego matches that of the characters, and the show-off moments match Riggan's desire to be seen and respected. I guess the question is was this intended?
It certainly isn't perfect, it does start to grate, but it is a wonder to watch.
Please, can all blockbusters be like this?
I cared about the characters, I felt a sense of urgency, I wasn’t bored by the same old plot, the storytelling techniques were original, the action scenes were compelling, and all of this kept me engaged enough to not be distracted by CGI.
A pleasant surprise - this movie was actually fun!