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Papillon

  • 2017
  • R
  • 133min
  • 52%
  • 7.1 / 10

Papillon tells the true story of the man named for the butterfly tattoo on his chest, Papillon. which is derived from the French word for butterfly. He is a safe-cracker who is set-up and wrongly convicted for murder, despite having a solid alibi. He is sent to the notorious Devil's Island penal colony in French Guiana where no one has ever escaped. The story begins with the friendship he forms with another inmate, Louis Dega. Together, they plan Papillon's escape from the prison. His friend helps him outsmart and sometimes attack the guards. Papillon tries to escape several times, only to be returned to solitary confinement for years until the last successful attempt. The details of the last attempt and the fate of his friendship with Dega end the film.

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The real Papillon, only twenty-five when he was imprisoned, lived free after the escape. The French government allowed him to return to France after his autobiography was released. He died of lung cancer shortly before the release of the original 1973 film. The enormous popularity and universal acclaim of the original film led many to question the wisdom of remaking the movie, forty-five years after the release of the original. The fact that it is has grossed less than one percent of the original, suggests that it was a mistake.

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about the movie

Papillon is a remake of the 1973 film of the same name, which starred Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman. It is generally acknowledged as a solid, if unnecessary, retelling of the same story. It now stars Charlie Hunnam as Henri 'Papillon' Charrière and Rami Malek as Louis Dega. While the original has grossed over $600 million worldwide to date, the remake has grossed less than 4 million. The film is more popular with the critics than the audience, who tend to prefer the original.