The remake of Papillon doesn’t lack for potential metaphorical riches, yet this brutal, bruising film never quite connects with its deeper themes, resulting in a story full of suffering but not enough transcendence.
Hunnam and Malek both hold up their end of the deal. Noer, for his part, meets them halfway by conjuring golden-hued beauty for the jungle surroundings and a due griminess for the danker chambers of their holding compound. He doesn’t overcomplicate things for himself, keeping the clunky dialogue to a minimum and focusing on the guiding light of Papi’s indomitable willpower.
Based on the international best-selling autobiographic books "Papillon" and "Banco", the film follows the epic story of Henri "Papillon" Charrière (Charlie Hunnam), a safecracker from the Parisian underworld who is framed for murder and condemned to life in the notorious penal colony on Devil's Island. Determined to regain his freedom, Papillon forms an unlikely alliance with a convicted counterfeiter Louis Dega (Rami Malek), who in exchange for protection, agrees to finance Papillon's escape.
Yorick van Wageningen
Did You Know?
Based on a (mostly) true story: Papillon was adapted from a memoir written by Charri?re first released in France back in 1969