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M. Butterfly

1 rating: 3.0
A movie directed by David Cronenberg

Germany released, PAL/Region 2 DVD: it WILL NOT play on standard US DVD player. You need multi-region PAL/NTSC DVD player to view it in USA/Canada: LANGUAGES: English ( Dolby Digital 2.0 ), German ( Dolby Digital 2.0 ), ANAMORPHIC WIDESCREEN (1.78:1), … see full wiki

Tags: Movie
Director: David Cronenberg
1 review about M. Butterfly

Love and Betrayal

  • Feb 21, 2009
"M. Butterfly"

Love and Betrayal

Amos Lassen

Set against the Cultural Revolution in the mid-1960's in China, a French diplomat (Jeremy Irons) falls in love with a singer in the Beijing Opera (John Lone). Mixed into the plot of love and betrayal are allusions to Puccini's "Madama Butterfly".
Rene Gallimard (Irons) quickly falls in love with a seductive female opera singer, Song Liling (Lone) and he pursues her. She is amused by his ignorance of the differences between East and West. She keeps Gallimard at a distance for eighteen years as their affair continues and she teaches him about cultural differences. We get a new twist on the classic opera which is very wicked. The sexual tension in the movie holds throughout probably because we know what Irons as Gallimard doesn't know.
This is a haunting film that abounds with passion that is not easily forgotten. The chemistry between the two is mesmerizing. The strangest thing about this movie is that it is based on a true happening yet it is bizarre and compelling at the same time. It is, also, in my opinion the best film that David Cronenberg has directed. He chose a wonderful cast to bring this story to life. John Lone gives an incredible performance and Jeremy Irons is his usual cold and repressed upper class self.
The film deals with the state of the Chinese theater during the Cultural Revolution. The characters are intricate who share both commitments to their own hearts and to their country.
The question that most people ask is how it is possible to be in love with a woman for twenty years who in reality is a man. When Gallimard, the man, was on trial for cavorting with a spy(Liling), this was the most unbelievable aspect of the case. It seems that Gallimard did not know this because he did not want to know. For two decades, he was in love with the ideal woman of his dreams and did not reality enter his life. Gallimard was influenced heavily by the fantasies of the West that Asian women are submissive. The movie keeps the secret only from Gallimard, the audience knows that Liling is a men.
Perhaps this is a flaw in the film and some think the issue of gender should have played like it did in "The Crying Game" but regardless of what anyone may feel, the two lead actors give stunning performances and the costumes and the sets are lush and beautiful,

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