To be honest, the first fifteen to thirty minutes of the movie are quite confusing – it’s as if viewers were plonked right in the middle of a conversation and that we have to find out the who, what, when, and why ourselves. I was very tempted to rate this movie two out of six based on these first scenes. The relationships between the characters in Un baiser papillon (A Butterfly Kiss) are only revealed in moderation, and everything makes sense towards the end. More about my review later …
Un baiser papillon is about a dying mother Billie (Valeria Gollino) and a raft of characters surrounding her: her brother-in-law Paul (Jalil Lespert) who is in love with a prostitute, her nurse Alice (Cécile de France) who is sick of Paris and of her routines, her friend Marie (Elsa Zylberstein) who is dying to have a baby. There are other characters that at first seem like a messy, mishmash of unrelated people. However, like a slow-cooked cuisine, everything turns out beautiful towards the end. It’s as if the director, Karine Silla, waves her paintbrush around with myriads of colours that somehow create a deep introspective picture as the final result.
At the heart of the movie is the question whether miracles are still possible – and one answer is that even simple things can be considered as miracles, like Alice’s son who manages to sleep the whole night after a long period of sleeplessness. Even when things don’t proceed miraculously, like for example a terminal sickness that is somehow wondrously cured, miracles can still be seen in the people who are affected by such tragedies.
Un baiser papillon brings the question of the truth in our daily life, faith, miracles and beliefs subtly into the story without turning the movie into something preachy or religious. The movie may seem like a monotonous hum from the beginning to the end without any massive emotional jolts. Some of the dialogues seem quite disjointed and hard to follow, however if you give the story a chance, it will probably make you think about love, life and its many miracles.