Review of Black Butterflies (2011)

11 Mar

Black Butterflies (2011) is a Dutch drama/romance/biography film about the life of South-African poet Ingrid Jonker.

Directed by Paula van der Oest (Moonlight (2002), Zus & zo (2001)).

Written by Greg Latter (Cyborg Cop (1993), Dangerous Ground (1997)).

Starring: Carice van Houten, Rutger Hauer, Liam Cunningham, Grant Swanby, Candice D’Arcy and others.

I can’t quite figure out why is Netherlands is making an English-language film about South-African poet, starring Dutch and Irish actors, but I don’t even give a shit, because this movie isn’t worth caring.

I kept wanting to see more Rutger Hauer, since he is the only reason I watched this movie. This is no Blade Runner so all you get is him sitting and being an asshole father of the main character. He is still great, but did not meet my expectations. Interestingly, after seeing this, he is still the only reason to watch this movie.

They use a line here, that reminded me of a better movie I could be watching – X2. At one point a character says „You’re beautiful, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise”, excuse me, but I prefer Ian McKellen saying this.

The main character is this young woman, a poet. It is hard to care about her, since there’s only a few seconds throughout the film, where she is not totally unlikable and stupid. Also you must possess a certain self-indulgent idiocy to write your own poetry all over your walls. That being said, I think Carice  van Houten did a great job portraying this horrible bitch.

But I have to ask what is the purpose of the film? Is it to show this despicable person writing half-decent poetry and having some social significance? In that case I think she would be better off as being remembered only by her poems. At the start of the film she is a spoiled bitch with daddy issues and by the end of it she is a psychotic bitch with suicidal tendencies. Am I supposed to feel sorry for her? I’ll never know.

It’s rated 12, but that is bullshit, it is an R movie, first of all I don’t think teenagers would like this movie anyway, it’s more for hipster chicks in their twenties, who would see a folk-heroine in Jonker. And even more than that, it has sexual overtones all over it, but of course they suppose putting an orchestral score to a sex scene and once in a while cutting to the poetry on the walls makes it tasteful and beautiful. No, it does not.

I can’t quite figure out why is Netherlands is making an English-language film about South-African poet, starring Dutch and Irish actors, but I don’t  even give a shit.

Overall, pretentious crap, a proof that not everyone’s life is worth to be made into a biopic. Not recommended, except if you really want to see Rutger Hauer being a mean daddy.

"I don't really need glasses. The moustache is also ironic. And I like Terrance Malick's movies."

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