There is a scene in Black Butterflies where a character gives Adrien (Nicolas Duvauchelle), a writer, feedback on his new book. He says, “It’s well written, but where does it go?” You could apply a similar sentiment to this series at that point: it’s well done, but where is it going? There are six episodes in Black Butterflies, and I could give plot details until episode 5. However, you couldn’t guess where the series would go in its finale.
The basic premise is this. An old man named Albert (Niels Arestrup) asks Adrien to write a book about his life. The story begins with a childhood romance when a young Albert falls in love with a girl named Solange. They grow up and go to a beach, and it is here that the mood changes as the story takes its first turn. Adapt to this sentiment because Black Butterflies constantly changes her mood and hits you with plenty of turns. The more it absorbs you, the more you realize how crazy this series is.
How do you review something like this? I want to avoid spoilers because one must go blind. Let me give it a try, though before reading any further, I would recommend that you watch the series first.
Still here? Initially, the Black Butterflies appear to be accusing the men of being rapists. Every man who seems to be nice to Albert (Axel Granberger plays the adult version) and Solange (Alyzée Costes) ends up forcing himself on Solange. Albert kills those men, and the murder excites the couple into passionate sex. And so Albert and Solange become serial killers. She uses her sexuality to entice men to rape her, and then Albert comes out of her and stabs the person. According to Solange and Albert, they’re wiping rapist types off the face of the earth. They are making the world a better place to live for other women.
Put on your smart caps and discover deep interpretations and subtexts. After knowing the whole story, you will only laugh at yourself for sounding so pretentious. That does not mean that Black Butterflies wants to offend our intelligence or is simply interested in creating crazy developments. I think he wants to convey that one should not jump to conclusions without understanding the whole picture. Black Butterflies understands that the audience is always looking to stay one step ahead. We continually predict what will happen in the next scene and the next and come to a conclusion. Some movies and shows end according to your expectations. But with Black Butterflies, playing the prediction game is useless. I am sure you will give up and just give up after some time. You can also dismiss the whole thing as nonsense and stop watching the series after a couple of episodes.
Sure, the story takes absurd leaps, but I can assure you that it all makes sense in the end. Everything comes together and the dots are perfectly connected. You see why that “secret” conversation between Adrien’s mother, Catherine (Brigitte Catillon), and his wife, Nora (Alice Belaïdi), seemed so tense. Echoes also work wonderfully. When Nora runs after a car, she remembers a previous scene where she ran with her husband. There is a horribly visceral abortion scene. When a character named Nastya (Henny Reents) first appears, the camera quickly zooms in on her. You feel something in your stomach but you are not able to identify it at the time. However, you understand your reaction when the series reveals something about (and later through) Nastya. Apparently that quick zoom during her entrance is an exclamation point telling us that this character would drastically change the course of events.
Black Butterflies is successful because he trusts his absurdity. He takes strange turns with a straight face because he has a plan in mind. Seeing it is like driving through winding roads, as you are never sure where the road will take you or what sights you will encounter during the entirety of your journey. One of those sights could very well be a swarm of butterflies. “Black Butterflies” keeps you busy, unsettles you, fills you with excitement, leaves you confused, and fills you with euphoria. You go through a myriad of emotions, but you’re finally satisfied anyway.
Final score – [10/10]
Reviewed By – Vikas Yadav
To follow @vikasonorous On twitter
Editor at Midgard Times