While I watched Papillon (which is based on a true story) several things happened. One of the first things was a reminder of The Shawshank Redemption. Especially the part where Red (Morgan Freeman) was talking about Andy (Tim Robbins) and referred to him as a bird; “I have to remind myself that some birds aren’t meant to be caged. Their feathers are just too bright.” Those words really described Henri Charriere (Charlie Hunnam). No matter where he went, how long he was there, or how badly he was treated, his soul never broke and his heart longed to be free. The other thing that happened to me was a history listen. I had never heard of Charriere or his many successful and unsuccessful prison escapes. It was amazing for one guy to be arrested in France, get sent to Devil’s Island, survive the storms on the ocean, before jumping off a cliff to end up in South America. It is truly amazing what this man accomplished in his life. If he was still around today, I guarantee he’d be a motivational speaker who thousands would pay for a first-hand account of his adventures.
Papillon is a remake a classic film from 1973 which starred Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman. I had never heard of that movie or anything about this story. There are some who are upset that this movie was remade and I am usually one of those people who hate the lack of original ideas in Hollywood. Having no prior knowledge I was able to enjoy this film for what it was, an introduction to an amazing story. Yes, there are boring parts, there are exciting parts, there some intense parts, and other parts that literally could put you to sleep. It has a long run time of 2:13, but it shaved off about 15 minutes from the original and still told a great story. The acting from Hunnam and his trusty sidekick Louis Dega (Rami Malek) were the heart and soul of the film. Sure, two thousand other actors could have been cast in these roles, but they managed to pull it off and make it seem believable.
Ana and I agreed that at some point we’d be interested in watching this film again. Maybe we can find the original somewhere online to watch. It is tough to compare past and present films because of the advancements in filmography. Having said that though, this film is worth your time, don’t get scared away by it because you may end up just as amazed as I was. 8/10