Lots of movies have been made about prisons? Perhaps the most famous of all goes to San Francisco’s The Rock. Sing must also fall into this category as well as some classic wartime Centrex of incarceration as depicted in such classic fare as The Bridge on The River Kwai. And on a lighter note who can forget the Elvis inspired song and dance 60s Jailhouse Rock. Nothing funny or musical can be said about how the French treated their outcasts in the early 1930s. Relive the harrowing experience of a man truly done wrong in Elevation Pictures Papillon. See some consummate acting take hold in this forceful drama now spellbinding audiences on home DVD
Remember Dustin Hoffman and Steve McQueen. Both these cultural icons teams up in the original Papillon back in 1973. This prison saga mesmerized audiences. Indeed, trying to remake this movie will be a hard task to follow. Luckily the producers of The new Papillon found the right players and the rest is history.
Our story begins in Paris in fun filled 1930. Big society is in vogue living the good life among hot spots like The Moulin Rouge. Love is in the air and handsome Henry Charriere makes a good living as a petty criminal. Likable Charlie Hunnam turns in his best as a dapper lady’s man whose penchant for women and jewels proves to be a lethal combination. Talented as a safecracker extraordinaire not even those fine-fingered skills can save him when he is caught and banished to a prison compound in French Polynesia.
Contrast Henry’s new life to his old life as the change is hard to swallow. Once confined to his new quarter’s desperation sets in as expected the big house is ruled by an elegant dressed well-bred tyrant whose passion in life seems dressed in terror.
Enduring such hardships is a big part of Herni’s predicament. Somehow the principled con gets tagged with the moniker Papillon. While being jailed for over a decade this now hardened seasoned veteran meets up and befriends another lost soul named Louis. In another jarring performance Rami Malek wins over hearts as a weakling who manages to get into Papillon’s heart. Able to stand the test of time this friendship is at the heart of a truly powerful and inspirational movie.
Based on a true story Expert acting and a wonderful brutal atmosphere helps turn Papillon both into a head-turner and head-scratcher not to be missed out on.
BY Alan Samuel