Directed by: #OrionMonroe
Starring: #JacobKaufman, #JulieCarney, #JosephMoreland, #PaigeWallace, #TimothyNoahCurtis
Short Film Review by: Alexandra James
Butterfly tells the story of a young man struggling to come to terms with his personal challenges being bipolar disorder and managing this with the social structures within this world. Davis is a young, good-looking boy but he knows it and often uses his charm and manipulative ways to get what he wants in life, whether this be from his parents or within his friendship group. His egotistical persona soon becomes shattered when his girlfriend turns his friends against him by accusing him of a despicable act. Davis’s world crashes before him after this, and he soon learns that you cannot charm everyone into believing your every word and popularity will always be temporary.
Butterfly opens to a family home with Ellen, Davis’s mother, working at the table. She becomes distracted by Davis as he bothers her and proceeds to ruin all of her hard work, just because he was unable to wear his favourite shirt. His attitude and behaviour throughout appeared extremely challenging, he lacked empathy, and it was obvious he has been spoilt throughout his life. His father, Max, is very much in denial regarding his diagnosis of bipolar. However, mum Ellen does not want this to be dismissed so easily. Davis craves order and routine within his life. To ignore his diagnosis only sets Davis up for future problems in life whether this be work, family life or friends. Later, the audience are introduced to Davis’s friends, who certainly fit that frat boy image and are extremely clique.
It was the acting which brought the tone of this short down. A lot of the characters were very stereotypical and there were elements which seemed stiff making some scenes clunky and very unnatural to the actors. It was hard to see the meaning behind this story and the direction that it was trying to head in, as there were a few scenarios that popped up but were not explored deeper, for example Davis being bipolar. This was an issue that was touched upon but could have been developed further.
Butterfly does have some interesting themes such as mental health and the social constructs within friendship groups. However, it may have benefitted to stick with one theme to delve further into rather than have this mixture and not explore them so deeply.