Jan 8, 2008

M. Butterfly

David Cronenberg's film M. Butterfly is a very different direction for this Canadian director. I might be daft enough to consider this a period-piece. In this drama, it follows the downfall of two lovers who can question their own destiny and the worst betrayal to commit. The plot builds around two characters leaving the supporting actors hanging dry. Jeremy Irons plays René Gallimard, a diplomat stationed in Beijing, where he works his job to the best of his ability, while cruising to parties with his bland wife.

Things begin to pick up when he meets Song, an opera performer. It is then that he is launched into a colorful world of cultural clashes, treason, sexual longing, and deceit. Through all of this plot comes the perfect end to an almost perfect story. I must keep the plot summarization short as to not give away any of this film's secret. Cronenberg made this film based loosely off the classical play Madame Butterfly. The original writer wrote the screenplay off of his own play for the screen.

The film features as usual, Jeremy Irons best performance and when i say this, i mean every performance is his best. Ranging from a love story (M. BUTTERFLY), an action film (DIE HARD: WITH A VENGEANCE), to a surrealistic nightmare (DEAD RINGERS). No one can argue with his strict tone of voice but some how manages to play a bottom feeder with ease. Alternating his stance upon the issues through out the movie, he plays a sincere man whose life is of no importance, to a love stricken man, who then hits rock bottom.

It is an achievement to watch this film and not feel any emotion. Such a film directed with the utmost care would be the very creation of M. Butterfly. No aspect goes to waste in this romantic drama, but as all films have their problems, this one does to. The main problem is that it is too forced and cut into a regular major motion picture run time. This film would have been just at home with a double VHS set as a four hour epic. Not only does this not pose too much of a threat, but it makes it more available to be seen from a larger audience.

M. Butterfly is an epic love story that shows no boundaries and doesn't wallow in it's excess. Grappled into your mind, it doesn't leave your attention long after the sorrowful ending. Highly recommended for those with a soft spot or just a taste for masterful directing.



Anonymous said...

I have just finished watching Eastern Promises. It reminded me that Cronenberg is a director to take the time to watch all of his work. I definitely will have to check this one out.

Anonymous said...

This isn't based of Madame Butterfly, it's based off the play M. Butterfly by David Henry Hwang. The play was based on a true story and it's a deconstruction of Madame Butterfly.

jervaise brooke hamster said...

At least Cronenberg, Irons and Lone are all heterosexual in real life which is at least one saving grace although i`m not completely sure about Lone, if i find out that hes a faggot at some point in the future i`m going to be very angry (i hate faggots). By the way, Irons is still a pile of shit because hes British although obviously his heterosexuality does go some way to redeeming him but not completely of course (i hate British scum).