Monday, 6 July 2009
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly 
Julian Schnabel’s The Diving Bell and the Butterfly was tailor-made to be a typically maudlin ‘triumph of human spirit over gargantuan adversity’ kind of tale. However, in the same way that an American director making a movie in French is something completely out of the ordinary, so is this heartfelt and surprisingly unsentimental movie. Jean-Dominique Bauby – high-flying editor of Elle in the mid-90's, womanizer, and doting father – suffered a massive stroke one not-so-fine day, to be left with ‘locked-in syndrome’; his body was completely paralyzed but for his left eye and his ability to think and imagine. However, despite this crushing and debilitating blow, he managed to compose his memoir through the mere blink of his eye! This amazing story of Bauby has been presented with a touching concoction of poignancy and beauty, and brought to life by Mathieu Amalric. And Schnabel added to that just the right amount of irreverence, mordant wit and dry humour, thus making this moving story an absolute delight to watch. Interestingly, a major portion of the first half of the movie, in an inspired choice of action, has been presented from Bauby’s point of view – with the audience literally placed inside his fecund brain!
Director: Julian Schnabel