13 June 2009 | menthapiperita
I enjoyed the film wholly and while it's been years since I read the original source material, a novel by Philip Pullman originally titled "The White Mercedes," I felt it was a very good adaptation. I must confess that The Butterfly Tattoo/White Mercedes was never a favourite among Pullman's stories (I have very mixed feelings about his contemporary novels in general). In this vein, my complaints with regards to the plot probably echo some of the more negative reviews, although I felt it carried well enough in the film. As a viewer with a vague memory of the original plot and setting, I sometimes found myself trying to remember how characters managed without mobile phones back in the early 90s (this is purely tangential).
Otherwise, I felt the film was one of the better films I've seen this past year. Although the actors were obviously new, they were good, and to my amateur eye, gave very sincere performances. In combination with the beautiful cinematography (I'm glad I was able to see this in widescreen as intended), I gather that was a pretty solid movie on the part of the director Phil Hawkins and the producers. I am even more impressed due to the educational nature of the film project for many of the cast and crew members.
My only major complaint that would prevent me from giving the film a higher rating pertains to the use of flashbacks, especially as employed in the second half of the film. While I have no objection to the use of flashbacks in general, and felt that they were very well employed in the retelling stories of the past, they seemed rather clichéd and unnecessary in the depiction of characters' reflection upon a relationship that had developed over merely days over the course of the film.
Overall a very good film. Congratulations to all those who worked so hard to put it together.