Papillon Michael But | Review


Published on Jun 28, 2018


In 1970, Henri Charrière publish in France a book about his life that tells, in detail, the period of imprisonment in the penal colony of French Guyana. Immediate best-seller translated into more than thirty languages, the biography three years after arriving at the cinema in the adaptation (scripted by Dalton Trumbo) Frank Schaffner, fresh from the resounding success of the seminal Planet of The Apes (1968) with Charton Heston and, above all, by the seven academy awards (including best film, best director and best screenplay to Francis Ford Coppola for Patton, General of Steel (1970) with George C. Scott.

The biographical movie about the exploits of Charrière, Papillon, became a resounding success, $ 53 million takings, at the time a gold mine, that besides telling the story – and indeed the odyssey of the protagonist, the tragic, almost homeric in its iron-clad stubbornness in wanting to go home, incastonò forever the myth of Steve McQueen in stone in the history of cinema, and solidified to Dustin Hoffman, six years after the dazzling debut in The Graduate, Mike Nichols, and a year before the legendary All The President's Men of Pakula.

Today, the Danish film director Michael But you can measure it with that gargantuan film in its remake, a production of 2017, which arrives in Italy, after a year since it made its debut at the Toronto Film Festival, where it failed to attract the attention of distributors north america – and this already dovrebber words long. But relying on the good Charlie Hunnam in the role that was to McQueen and Rami Malek (who will be the leader of Queen Freddy Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody; pardon the joke: Freddy Mercury, Queen, McQueen ... no? nothing? ) the one from the forger short-sighted of Hoffman, and to involve new generations of viewers decides to push not just the graphic violence even though we are very far from the gore of the recent and stupendous Cell Block 99 – No one Can Stop me of S. Craig Zeller.

The problem is that in addition to this, the film has very little to offer, especially if compared with the original work: Papillon (nickname, derived from a butterfly tattoo on his chest) and his friend Degas are two sides of the same coin, the first to symbolize the courage, strength and tenacity of which it is capable the human being, the second to represent the cowardice, the fear, the weakness, but none of the two actors can hold a candle to the legends that preceded them.

The damage is greater, then, if you consider the fact that a film like that has not much to characterization and/or depth of the character, that he doubly needs to be embodied by an actor-icon. If Charlie Hunnam is doing what it can (a bit on the strand of the atmospheres of the extraordinary Lost Civilization of James Grey, who we came the last year of this period), and Rami Malek is not able and it is limited to mimic the version of Hoffman.

But then there's also puts a bit of his, thus depriving the film of all that stain and all the heroics that characterized the Bow tie Schaffner.

Definitely not nice, certainly not ugly, its remake you leave follow but fails to drag the viewer (especially the viewer who has yet in the eyes of the film of ’73) and then the only merit that can be attributed is to pass on to young people the myth of a timeless classic of the Hollywood of the ’70s, that those who loved this version would do well to recover soon.

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