Papillon

Papillon, 2017 film starring Charlie Hunnam, Rami Malek and Christopher Fairbank.  Remake of the 1973 hit with McQueen.

Henri Charriere ‘Papillon’ (Hunnam) is convicted of murder (wrongly) and is sent to the notorious penal colony on Devil’s Island.  During the boat ride to the island he form an alliance with convicted counterfeiter Louis Dega (Rami Malek).  Papillon agrees to keep Dega safe in return for helping finance his escape from the prison.  It is based on the international best-selling autobiographic books “Papillon” by Henri Charriere.

I had never actually seen the original with Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman so I saw this one with fresh eyes.  As a modern made film it did have great graphics and scenery as I am sure the original did not.  The story was great, we got to know who Papillon was at the beginning and how he came about  being charged with murder.

To have been sent to this bleak prison would have been terrible.  I can’t believe that guards and wardens would treat people like that (even criminals) but then again this was in the past.  The laws there were very simple, try to escape and get a year in solitary, kill a guard and you are killed.  In the meantime you work your ass off every day while serving your sentence. (Which seems to be life if you are sent there)

It was a very entertaining and deep film.  I was pulling for the four men to get out and stay out.  I did not even realize this was a true story till the end.  The acting was great, I will be honest, I don’t recognize Hunnam but he was really good in this one.  Malek of course was fantastic, the few films I have seen him in now definitely show off his range and talent.

A very good watch for all, well, except maybe the kiddies!




 

 

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