The Latest

THE LATEST

THE LATEST THINKING

THE LATEST THINKING

The opinions of THE LATEST’s guest contributors are their own.

2017 Remake of Papillon Is a Solid Remake That Is a Great Film in Its Own Right

Ryan Beltran

Posted on October 4, 2020 01:27

1 user

The remake of the 1973 praised film Papillon, came out in 2017 with okay reviews but did not get enough hype and praise compared to its original. Even then, the 2017 version of Papillon is actually a great film in its own right that pays good homage to the original and other similar films.

Papillon (2017)  stars former Sons of Anarchy star Charlie Hunnam and 2019 Academy Award winner Rami Malek in a remake of the 1973 version that starred Dustin Hoffman and Steve McQueen. The film was met with respectable reviews but not enough to make big earnings and cash in the box office.

The film centers around Henri "Papillon" Charrière (Hunnam), a French safecracker, who gets framed for murder back in Paris. He is found guilty and is sentenced to a remote penal prison in the French colony of French Guinea.

He befriends wealthy counterfeiter Louis Dega (Malek) and the two form a friendship through several years which revolves around constant planning of escaping the barbaric prison they are forced to live in. Papillon valiantly goes through great depths to escape this island no matter what for the simple value of freedom.

If you come to watch without comparing the original 1973 version, Papillon provides the audience with many great qualities. Considering the prestige of the actors that played their roles in the original version, both Hunnam and Malek still held their own. Their on-screen chemistry of Malek and Hunnam really was the catalyst for making this film a comfortable watch and you can feel the sense of brotherhood from both as the two main characters go through their hard journey together.

Along with the details of the film, the setting, costume design, and action sequences; the overall atmosphere paints the brutality and extreme treatment prisoners faced during this time period. In the film, we see perfect examples of this through Papillon being thrown into prison cells for long periods of time. You can see Papillon struggling to face the extreme loneliness in his confined prison cell, almost feeling like he is about to go crazy enduring what feels like an eternity

Although the film captures good suspense and action with the main plot, the film does suffer from pacing issues. In a way, the film could be dragging for people but I feel it could’ve gone even a bit longer as well. The film does capture the sadistic practices of prison life and forming enough of a bond between Papillon and Dega. At the same time, however, I felt the film could’ve spent more time developing the relationship between the main and supporting characters.   

Overall, the film is still watchable and stands strongly as a remake. Yes, maybe the remake is better, but the film deserves respect for its effort and it gets you intrigued at least for the whole film. It is a very good prison escape drama that offers audiences a good array of suspense, well-choreographed sequences, and thrilling scenes of the barbarity of a harsh prison in a remote country of South America.

Ryan Beltran

Posted on October 4, 2020 01:27

Comments

comments powered by Disqus
Source: NYT

Rami Malek, left, and Charlie Hunnam in “Papillon.”

THE LATEST THINKING

Video Site Tour

The Latest
The Latest

Subscribe to THE LATEST Newsletter.

The Latest
The Latest

Share this TLT through...

The Latest