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Franz Patrick's Movie Reviews (593)

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Diving Bell and the Butterfly, The ( Scaphandre et le papillon, Le ) 
Borderline Great/Masterful
4/4 stars

Iím not going to deny that I didnít shed a tear while watching this touching film. From the first scene to the last, I was completely into it because the story is very human and the way the story unfolded is far from predictable. Julian Schnabel, the director, took many risks that actually paid off: one is placing the audience into the main characterís body right from the very beginning. By doing that, we are immediately able to feel and hear what the protagonist wants to express whether we want to or not. Mathieu Amalric who plays Jean-Dominique Bauby impressed me so much. I thought that Amalric really was paralyzed and it hurts just to look at his condition. This is the first time Iíve heard of Locked-In Syndrome, where the person is aware of everything thatís going on around him but he is completely paralyzed. (That will officially go under one of the things I most fear will happen to me.) The movie is surprisingly poetic and has comedic moments despite the tragedy thatís unfolding before the audience. In a span of just under two hours, we are able to understand, if not merely glimpse, what has happened during and before Bauby had a massive stroke that led him into a vegetative state. From an emotional point of view, this film is nothing short of devastating; from an artistic point of view, I admired its use of awkward camera angles, blurry perspectives, and the storyís fluidity. I havenít seen a film in a while that has inspired me to not take things for granted.


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