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Papillon (2017)

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Wrongfully convicted for murder, Henri Charriere forms an unlikely relationship with fellow inmate and quirky convicted counterfeiter Louis Dega, in an attempt to escape from the notorious penal colony on Devil's Island.

Director:

Michael Noer

Writers:

Aaron Guzikowski (screenplay by), Henri Charrière (based upon the books "Papillon" and "Banco" by) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Credited cast:
Rami Malek ... Louis Dega
Charlie Hunnam ... Henri 'Papillon' Charrière
Tommy Flanagan ... Masked Breton
Eve Hewson ... Nenette
Roland Møller ... Celier
Michael Socha ... Julot
Nina Senicar ... Leper Woman
Christopher Fairbank ... Jean Castili
Yorick van Wageningen ... Warden Barrot
Brian Vernel ... Guittou
Ian Beattie ... Toussaint
Joel Basman ... Maturette
Antonio de la Cruz ... Tribouillard
Attila C. Arpa ... Ship Deck Guard
Olja Hrustic ... Secretary
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Storyline

Based on the international best-selling autobiographic books "Papillon" and "Banco", PAPILLON 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 quirky convicted counterfeiter Louis Dega (Rami Malek), who in exchange for protection, agrees to finance Papillon's escape.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Greatest Escape Adventure Ever Told


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence including bloody images, language, nudity, and some sexual material | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Site

Country:

Czech Republic | Spain | USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

24 August 2018 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Papillon See more »

Filming Locations:

Belgrade, Serbia See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,090,073, 26 August 2018, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$2,335,896, 13 September 2018
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39:1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Based on a mostly true story: Papillon was adapted from a memoir written by Charrière first released in France back in 1969. See more »

Goofs

After their first night at the prison, Dega has a large bite on his arm. Several scenes later his arm is clear, the next scene the bite is seen again. See more »

Quotes

Louis Dega: Now what's the son of two school teachers doing in a place like this?
See more »

Alternate Versions

German theatrical version was cut by distributor Constantin by approx. 15 minutes to reduce running time. See more »

Connections

Remake of Papillon (1973) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Gritty, intense, thrilling, fantastic performances!
30 September 2017 | by jessiejpbSee all my reviews

*THIS REVIEW IS LONG*

I had the privilege of seeing Papillon at the world premiere screening at TIFF (September 7th, 2017).

Because this movie is sadly going to endure never-ending comparison to the 1973 original, here's my opinion about that one. I actually found it very boring and I didn't feel engaged at all in the character's stories or struggles. I just could not get into it. The friendship between Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman felt so awkward and lacked chemistry to me, and I found the acting very "wooden" throughout most of it. I finished it feeling very confused as to why the movie has always been given such high praise. I realize that it was seen as a very riveting adventure epic back in the 70s, but it's 45 years later so there is nothing wrong with having a fresh/modernized telling of the story. We are in an era of "remakes" after all. Side note: this movie is not actually a remake of the original. Both movies were based on different interpretations of the book.

So what did I think of this new version? I was engaged during every single minute of it! It has something in it for everyone. It is gritty, raw, intense, emotional, dramatic, even humourous at times, and tells a powerful story of male friendship and loyalty in its purest form.

As for Charlie Hunnam (Henri Charrière aka Papillon), well he killed his performance! He did very intense preparation for the role by losing 40 lbs, and he even stayed in the prison cell alone, every night after filming, for 8 days without food or water. He also remained silent during that time. The weight loss and isolation is exactly what he did for his movie The Lost City of Z (8 months prior) so you can imagine how dedicated he is to his craft. He broke himself down, not only physically, but also mentally and emotionally, and all of it made for very powerful solitary confinement sequences. (He said in an interview that by the end of filming he'd gotten as close as he wanted to get to feeling true madness.)

He also brought charm, swag, and likability to the character. He just carried the lead so perfectly!

This is the first role of Rami Malek's that I've seen and he did not disappoint! He also delivered a fantastic performance. He played the character Louis Dega in a less "idiotic" way than Dustin Hoffman and was a very strong scene partner for Charlie. They both brought their A game and really fed off each other.

The cinematography and editing were great, and the movie had great flow and pace. I didn't want it to end!

Overall, I think the thing people need to know before pre-judging this movie and assuming it's going to be terrible is that this version delves a lot deeper than the original does, and puts more emphasis on solitary confinement suffering, poor mental health, weight loss, and the male friendship. I think that's why I connected to it and felt a lot of investment in the story, and it's also why I think the performances were way better than Steve McQueen's and Dustin Hoffman's. Yes, I just said that. Just because that movie was considered a classic doesn't mean it can't be beaten. And in my opinion, it was definitely beaten. (Although, I'm sure people will be scared to admit that and feel like they are betraying Steve McQueen's memory..)

Anyway, I can't wait to see it again when it comes to theatres on August 24th. And I really think everyone should have an open mind and give it fair chance. Don't write it off before seeing it. And when you do see it, pretend the original never existed and judge this one own its own merits. Both movies are very different from each other and all 4 actors brought the characters to life in different ways. Ask yourself "is this movie engaging?" and "are the performances good?", instead of just "who did it better?".


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