蝴蝶
Butterfly (2004)


Reviewed by: JohnR
Date: 07/08/2007
Summary: Very good character drama

Josie Ho stars as Flavia, a teacher in a girls school. She is married to Ming (Eric Kot) and has an infant daughter. She leads a quiet, apparently satisfying life until she meets a young woman in a grocery store (Yip, played by Tian Yuan) who is instantly attracted to her and begins a gentle, patient pursuit.

Yip stirs something in Flavia's soul. She seems to understand her in ways that Ming doesn't, and because of this Flavia finds herself drawn to Yip against her will.

The film is structured so that as Flavia's current life unfolds, we simultaneously see into her past. The movie goes back and forth between old Flavia and young Flavia, with some parts of the lives paralleling each other. Sounds confusing, but it's not too hard to follow.

We quickly learn that young Flavia, played by Isabel Chan, had a lesbian relationship with a schoolmate (Joman Chiang). They come of age during the Tienanmen Square massacre and are influenced by the politics of the time. Two major traumas in young Flavia's life have resulted in her putting a stopper on her emotions and drifting into her safe, quiet life with Ming.

There are two major preconceptons that people might have coming into a movie like this. The first is that they might see some hot girl-on-girl action. Sorry guys, but no, the film is no more racy than your local department store's lingerie ads. There are a couple kissing scenes, but the director does not ask the actors to put any passion into them. I'm sure that was much to the actors' relief, but it wounds the movie.

The other preconception is that the husband will be played as a brutal lout. Not the case. Ming is portrayed as a loving, senstive, good husband; the kind that, while not perfect, any woman would want. He appears to always be alert to Flavia's moods and fills her needs. In fact, Flavia's attraction to Yip almost appears to be more of a mid-life crisis, though she's not old enough for one. Despite her sound marriage and stable life with a loving partner, she's inexplicably drawn to the younger Yip. The fair treatment given by the movie to Ming was good for the plot because it makes Flavia's ultimate decision - should I stay or should I go - a hard one.

The whole thing's well done. The acting is good. Josie Ho is asked to carry the film and she responds splendidly. Tian Yuan is new to me, but has a lot of charisma; the camera loves her. Joman Chiang, who I'm also not familiar with, is very good as young Jin, a brooding, smoldering teen. Isabel Chan plays young Flavia well, but is mostly only required to be giggly. Lastly, Eric Kot will undoubtedly surprise as Ming. I'm used to seeing him play goofballs and mugging a lot; the guy shows he can act.



Reviewer Score: 8

Reviewed by: evirei
Date: 07/25/2005

Butterfly is a story that results around girls exploring their sexuality and finds that they are actually attracted to other women.

Josie Ho plays a good and caring teacher and housewife who soon met a girl in the supermarket that is attracted to her. To our surprise, she was a lesbian when she was young, and there were lots of flashback of clips when she was young.

The effects of the clip were made as if it was shot from a old camera but to me it looks cheap and simply not artistic.

The fact that the young actresses were so unnatural when they were kissing and so on. And what is worst is the director made a lot of close up on the scenes.

Eric Kot makes the show sparks up when he takes up the role as Josie's husband. He does make up to the movie's disappointment, making it a worth watching movie.

However much the director wants to be artistic, I think it should just start from the acting itself.

Rating 6 out of 10

Reviewer Score: 6