Papillon Movie Review

“Papillon” is based on the memoir of Henri Charri Zodre, a 1930s French pirate who was sent to an inevitable penal colony from which he escaped after his escape (Spoiler alert). But it is also based on the 1973 film version of this memoir (screenwriters Dalton Trumbo and Lorenzo Semple Young. they are called officially) and is closely related to it. In addition, director Michael Noer has chosen two actors who share more than temporary similarities with Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman, practically asking us to compare the Remake with the original.

And you know what? In most affairs, Noer’s version enhances that of Franklin Schaffner, who benefited from the power of the Stars but did not include the best work of these stars. Charlie Hunnam and Rami Malek have more to prove than McQueen and Hoffman 45 years ago, as well as Noer, a Dane making his English debut. The remake is a couple of minutes longer than the original, but it feels shorter, more effective and more engaging, with a script (written by Aaron Guzikovski, author of “Delinquent”) highlighting the relationship at the heart of the story.

Henri (Hunnam), a stout and toned gentleman named Papillon because of the butterfly tattoo on his chest, is a nonviolent thief accused of executing a pimp. Given his commitment to the underground Skulduggerie, it is not surprising that his first thought upon arrival at Cage was to escape him. But the cage is in French Guiana, with an ocean full of sharks on one side and a dark desert on the other. Anyone who tries to escape needs outside help, which means they need money.

Louis Dega (Malek), in the same delinquent class as Papillon, is a rich forger with access to a lot of dough — he keeps it hidden in his butt, which was the style at the time — but there’s no way to protect himself from Hardcore inmates who would cut him up and retire if he had half a chance. Papillon offers to protect Dega for money and help him escape, and they become a strange pair of friends.

The cage has the cruel guards and dehumanizing punishments waiting for you, as well as the brutal demands for work and the very real possibility of dying from illness or injury. The sobering realities of life in a penal colony are presented in a factual way (I did not exaggerate when it came to candor), and Noer is not afraid of them. But he does not even come close to her, and the dark and compelling story of perseverance and strength is really the story of a noble friendship imbued with unexpressed tenderness. Neither Hunnam nor Malek are (nor are) heavy actors, but both offer a disconnected sincerity.

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